Brandon Paul is an All-America Candidate this season.
Jan. 11, 2013
Illinois senior guard Brandon Paul has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, presented by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The list is made up of 25 student-athletes who, based on their performances in November, December, and the beginning of January, are the frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
Paul is having an All-America year so far, averaging 18.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while leading the Illini to a 14-3 overall record and a No. 12 national ranking. He has been named national player the week twice this year, first on Nov. 25 after leading Illinois to the Maui Invitational title and earning tournament MVP honors, and then again on Dec. 10 after scoring 35 points in an 85-74 road win at No. 10 Gonzaga.
The players on the Wooden Midseason Top 25 list are considered strong candidates for the official ballot. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Candace Parker ('07 and '08), Kevin Durant ('09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09 and `11). Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis won the men's Award in 2012.
Paul and the 12th-ranked Fighting Illini are back on the court this weekend, when they had to Madison, Wis., to face the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday at 1:15 pm CT (Big Ten Network).