MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Athletics) Senior forward Dean Wade was named a Preseason Top 50 candidate for the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s in an announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club today (November 6).
The Wooden list, which reflects the early frontrunners for one of the premier Player of the Year awards, was chosen in a poll of national college basketball experts. Players not on the list are still eligible for the Wooden Award midseason and late-season lists and the National Ballot.
Wade was one of five Big 12 players on the watch list, along with Kansas’ Quentin Grimes and Dedric Lawson, Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton and West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate.
Wade is the first K-State player to be a preseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award since Rodney McGruder in 2012. Jacob Pullen, who was also a preseason candidate in 2010, was the last Wildcat to earn recognition to the John R. Wooden Award All-America Team, while Michael Beasley was the last Wildcat finalist for the John R. Wooden Player of the Year Award in 2008.
The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament with the winner of the 2019 John R. Wooden Award presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 12, 2019.
Wade has already been named to the preseason watch lists for several other Player of the Year awards, including the Citizen Naismith Player of the Year (along with teammate Barry Brown, Jr.), the NABC Player of the Year Presented by ShotTracker as well as the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award. In addition, he was named the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year by the league coaches and a unanimous Preseason All-Big 12 selection.
A 6-foot-10, 228-pound forward from St. John, Kansas, Wade is coming off a stellar junior season in 2017-18, in which, he became just the 15th player in the Big 12 era to average at least 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in a single season, as he averaged 16.2 points on 55 percent shooting, including 44 percent from 3-point range, to go with 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.8 minutes per game.
No. 12/11 K-State officially opens the season on Friday, November 9 when the Wildcats play host to Kennesaw State (0-0) at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for as low as $5 for advanced single-game bench and general admission with $3 tickets available for groups of 12 or more.