Pargo, Heytvelt Nominated For Honors

Oct. 25, 2007

Complete Wooden Award Top 50 in PDF Format
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Complete Naismith Trophy Top 50 in PDF Format
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SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University juniors Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt have been named to the preseason watch lists for a pair of prestigious All-American men's basketball honors.

Pargo, a native of Chicago, Ill., is one of 50 players named to the John R. Wooden Award as selected by the Los Angeles Athletic Club's Wooden Award Committee.

Heytvelt, who hails from Clarkston, Wash., was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy as selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Pargo becomes the eighth Bulldogs selected as a Wooden candidate. Adam Morrison was a 2006 John R. Wooden Top Five All-America selection, Dan Dickau was so honored in 2002 as Gonzaga's inaugural Wooden Award Top Five honoree, and Blake Stepp (2004) and Casey Calvary (2001) were named Wooden Award Top 10 All-Americans.

Heytvelt is the second Bulldog in three

Josh Heytvelt is a Naismith Trophy Top 50 candidate.

years under consideration for the Naismith. Morrison was one of the five finalists in 2006.

Pargo earned All-WCC first-team honors as a sophomore in 2007 with his 12.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg and team-leading 4.6 assists. He was one of two Bulldogs to start all 34 games a year ago.

Heytvelt, a 6-11 center, averaged 15.5 ppg and 7.7 rpg last season. He sat out the final nine games of the regular and post season while suspended for violation of team policy. He was fully re-instated to the team earlier this month.

The John R. Wooden Award is named for the three-time college basketball All American, 1932 Player of the Year and 10-time national championship coach at UCLA.

"The committee had a tough time deciding on just 50 candidates, with so many returning talented players across the country," said Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman. "Some teams even had several worthy candidates. Our team at the John R. Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation compete against each other all season, as they vie to be named college basketball's player of the year."

Two returning Wooden All-Americans made the list, center Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina and Kansas guard Brandon Rush. Five schools had two players on the list: UCLA (Darren Collison, Josh Shipp), North Carolina (Hansbrough, Ty Lawson), Kansas (Mario Chalmers, Rush), Washington State (Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver), Georgetown (Roy Hibbert, Johnathan Wallace). More than 100 players received at least one vote.

The list 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 coveted trophy. These top 50 candidates are comprised of returning players. Transfers, freshmen, and medical redshirts are not eligible for this preseason list, but will be evaluated and considered for both the Midseason Top 30 list and the National Ballot. Players not on the preseason list are eligible for the midseason top 30 and ballot. Last year, Kevin Durant of the University of Texas was the first freshman to win the Wooden Award.

In January, the Wooden Award committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed by the distribution of the National Ballot to more than 1,000 voters in early March. The 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the Tuesday after the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament is completed.

The 2008 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's John R. Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams, and the Legends of Coaching Award to recipient Pat Summitt of the University of Tennessee, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of April 11-13, 2008. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the Award's ceremony and will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university's general scholarship fund. One of these five players will be named the John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year at a live televised announcement from The Club where he is awarded the prestigious five-figured bronze trophy.

The Naismith Trophy watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its pre-season criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2007-08 season. Seniors and juniors accounted for 17 apiece, along with 16 sophomores. The list does not include incoming freshmen, although those student-athletes will be considered in the first vote in January, 2008. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's players of the year.

"The talent level is vast and far-reaching which indicates competition continues to grow at a high rate," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "The winner of the Naismith Trophy can come from any conference and any class rank, as we witnessed last year with our first ever freshman winner, Kevin Durant of Texas."

In January, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its preseason list to the Top 30 players. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March. Beginning in mid-February, CBS' "AT&T at the Half" will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention. In April, the Naismith Trophy winner will be recognized at the NCAA Men's Final Four in San Antonio.



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