RENO - Nevada sophomore Luke Babbitt has been named one of the preseason top 50 candidates for the John Wooden Award.
Babbitt, a 6-9, 225-pound forward from Reno, Nev., was named the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year last season after leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 16.9 points and 7.4 boards per game.
An all-district selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the United States Basketball Writers Association, he ranked second among the nation’s freshmen in scoring last year.
He finished third in the WAC in scoring and rebounding and led the league in free throw shooting. Babbitt also set nearly every Wolf Pack freshman single-season record, including scoring with 573 total points.
This year marks the fourth time in five years that Nevada has had a player on the preseason list for this prestigious award with Marcelus Kemp making the list in 2007-08 and Nick Fazekas in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
Fazekas was named to the final ballot for the Wooden Award in each of those years and in 2006-07, he was named one of 10 Wooden Award All-Americans and finished eighth in the final voting for the award.