University of Memphis sophomore Adonis Thomas has been named to the 2012-13 John R. Wooden Award preseason top-50 watch list, The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Thursday. The Wooden Award has been given to the nation's top collegiate player annually since 1976.
Thomas is a preseason Wooden Award candidate despite only playing in 19 of the Tigers' 35 games last season. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound wing missed the final 16 regular-season games, including 14 Conference USA contests, due to an ankle injury which he suffered in a mid-January practice. He returned to see limited action in the 2012 postseason, averaging 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in only 11.7 minutes in three contests.
Thomas, a 2012-13 preseason All-C-USA second team pick, averaged 8.8 points and 3.2 rebounds and shot 48.6 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from the arc and 70.8 percent from the free throw line last season. The Memphis, Tenn., native also picked up numerous accolades from preseason publications and websites. CBSSports.com picked Thomas as its preseason Conference USA Player of the Year, while Lindy's, The Sporting News, Athlon Sports and Blue Ribbon College Yearbook all named him to their All-Conference USA squad.
Prior to the 2011-12 season, Thomas was a candidate for the Wayman Tisdale Award, given to the nation's top freshman each year.
The Wooden Award preseason 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 list and national ballot.
The 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight round. The 2013 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's John R. Wooden Awards, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of Apr. 12-13, 2013.
The Tigers, ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 16 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, open regular-season play Monday, Nov. 12 against North Florida. The game, to be televised on Comcast Sports South (CSS), is slated for a 6:30 p.m. (CT) tip at FedExForum.