Another one: Charles Bassey named to John R. Wooden Award watch list

WKU sophomore center guard Charles Bassey smiles during the exhibition basketball game between Kentucky State and WKU in Diddle Arena on November 2, 2019. WKU won 85-45.

Drake Kizer

Another day, another prestigious preseason honor for WKU men’s basketball sophomore Charles Bassey.

After being named one of 50 national watch list members for the 2020 Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year award on Monday, Bassey has also been selected as one of 50 national watch list members for the 2020 John R. Wooden Award, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced on Tuesday.

The John R. Wooden Award has been given to the nation’s best Division I basketball player who has proven to his or her university that he or she meets or exceeds the qualifications of the award, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA, since its creation in 1976.

Like the Naismith Trophy watch list, Bassey is the first Hilltopper to make the Wooden Award watch list since Courtney Lee in 2007. 

The watch list for the John R. Wooden Award is chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, and the 50 student-athletes included in the list are considered early front-runners for the Wooden Award All American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award, according to a release.

The full watch list can be found here.

Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award.

Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games.

The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2020 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 10, 2020.

Bassey has already racked up numerous accolades since his stellar freshman season came to an end last March, including:

Bassey and the Hilltoppers will open the 2019-20 regular season against Tennessee Tech on Tuesday night.

Tipoff against the Golden Eagles is set for 7 p.m. in Diddle Arena.

Although the game was originally slated to be broadcast on ESPN3, the contest will now be streamed live for ESPN+ subscribers.

The game will also air on WKU PBS in Bowling Green and WBNA in Louisville, according to a tweet.

Sports Editor Drake Kizer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Drake on Twitter at @drakekizer_.