Skyhawk Hudson a candidate for prestigious Wooden Award
Posted: Friday, November 14, 2008 10:35 am
“Lester Hudson is certainly to be commended for this nomination,” said Bret Campbell, the head coach at UT Martin. “We are extremely excited Lester is on this list.”
Hudson was named to CollegeHoops.net First Team Mid-Major All-America team last month. He was also named the Ohio Valley Conference 2008-09 Preseason Player of the Year. Arguably Hudson had the greatest single season in the history of the UT Martin basketball program in 2007-08. The 6-2, 190-pound Memphis native finished his first NCAA season ranked in the top 10 nationally in points per game (25.7 – 4th), steals (2.8 – 4th), and 3-pointers made per game (3.8 – 10th). Hudson also became the first Division I men’s basketball player to record a quadruple-double in a game when he put up a line of 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in UT Martin’s 116-74 win over Central Baptist on Nov. 13, 2007.
Hudson capped off his spectacular season by being named OVC Player of the Year, All-OVC First Team and All-OVC Newcomer. He was named Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American and a second team All-American by CollegeHoops.net. He is the first UT Martin basketball player ever to garner Division I All-American status, as well as being the first Skyhawk to win OVC Player of the Year honors.
The list of candidates for the Wooden Award is composed of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
Among the other candidates for the Wooden Award are Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina, last year’s Wooden Award winner; Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody; and Davidson guard Stephen Curry.
In all, 42 schools and 13 conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason list. Leading the way is the Big East with 12 candidates. Hudson is the only candidate for the award from the Ohio Valley Conference.
In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed in March by the national ballot, consisting of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA Tournament.
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 university that he is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (1979), Michael Jordan (1984), Tim Duncan (1997) and 2007 recipient Kevin Durant of Texas.