LOS ANGELES - Gonzaga University senior forward Elias Harris has been selected to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 as announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, 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.
Harris, who has been a Wooden preseason watch list candidate three straight years, is averaging 14.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He scored a season-high 24 points against Davidson in the Old Spice Classic and grabbed 10 rebounds for his 23rd career double-double.
The native of Speyer, Germany, was named to the All-West Coast Conference first team and to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 9 first team last season. His 1,601 career points rank 10th and his 834 rebounds rank fifth on the Gonzaga career charts.
Creighton forward Doug McDermott and Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan, both 2012 Wooden Award All Americans, return to the midseason list in 2013. Canaan averages 21.4 points per game for the 11-3 Racers. McDermott is the nation's No. 3 scorer, at 23.1 ppg, and has taken the Bluejays to a 14-1 record to start the season.
The players on the 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. Note that Lehigh's C.J. McCollum was selected to the Midseason Top 25 for his play to date though he suffered a foot injury last week that will keep him out for approximately two months.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation's top 10 players, will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament. The John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year presented by Wendy's will be announced on ESPN during the Final Four Weekend in Atlanta. The 2013 Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy's will take place April 11-13, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Gala will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching Award winner, Kansas Head Coach Bill Self.
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.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award's name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Gala.