CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s Jayden Gardner was one of 50 players named to the watch list for the 2023 John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s, announced Tuesday (Nov. 15) on ESPN’s SportsCenter and ESPN.com.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team™ and Most Outstanding Player Award.
Gardner is averaging 6.0 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Cavaliers (2-0). The transfer from East Carolina, helped the Cavaliers to a 21-14 record and NIT quarterfinal appearance in 2021-22. Gardner earned All-ACC third-team honors, ranking seventh in the league in field goal percentage (50.1%) and free throw percentage (79.3%), 12th in scoring (15.3 ppg) and 17th in rebounding (6.4 rpg). Gardner ranks third among all active Division I players in career points (2,011) and sixth in rebounds (942). He is a three-time All-conference honoree.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2023 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. 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 2023 John R. Wooden Award will be presented in Los Angeles in April.
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award Program hosts the most prestigious honors in college basketball recognizing The Wooden Award Most Outstanding Player for men and women, The Wooden Award All-America Teams for men and women and the annual selection of the Wooden Award Legend of Coaching recipient. Honorees have proven to their university that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.