Per Duke Comms:
The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced Duke freshman Paolo Banchero and junior Wendell Moore Jr., among 25 players named to the midseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s.
Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the 2021-22 season thus far, the list comprises of 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor.
Banchero and Moore have emerged as key performers for the No. 2 Blue Devils in their 12-1 start to the season. Banchero, who was tapped to the Wooden Award preseason watch list, currently ranks sixth in the ACC in scoring (17.1) and rebounding (7.5), 11th in field goal percentage (.487) and 10th in free throw percentage (.767). The Seattle, Wash., native has reached double figures in every game this season and has stepped up in several marquee contests, including a 22-point, seven-rebound effort against Kentucky in his collegiate debut on Nov. 9 and a 21-point outing to help lead Duke to a victory over then-No. 1 Gonzaga on Nov. 26.
Moore is proving to be among the nation’s most complete – and improved – players as he is the only player nationally averaging 16.0+ points, 5.0+ rebounds and 4.0+ assists on .550+ shooting from the field. The junior from Charlotte, N.C., is second in the ACC in assists (4.8), fourth in field goal percentage (.556) and eighth in scoring (16.3). His scoring average has increased by 6.6 points per game from his sophomore to junior season. With a 19-point, 10-rebound and 10-assist stat line against Army on Nov. 12, he has one of 10 triple-doubles in the nation this season.
The Duke co-captain is one of nine players making their debut on the Wooden Award watch list. With Moore and Banchero listed, Duke is one of four schools (Gonzaga, Purdue, UCLA) with multiple players on the midseason list.
Players not chosen to the preseason or midseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games.
The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2022 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s following the NCAA Tournament in April.
The award has been presented to a Duke men’s basketball player six times in its 45-year history – the most by any program nationally. The Blue Devils’ most recent winner was Zion Williamson in 2019.
Duke’s John R. Wooden Award Winners
Christian Laettner – 1992 – Senior
Elton Brand – 1999 – Sophomore
Shane Battier – 2001 – Senior
Jason Williams – 2002 – Junior
J.J. Redick – 2006 – Senior
Zion Williamson – 2019 – Freshman