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Baylor’s Motley Named to Wooden Award Midseason Top 25

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Baylor basketball forward Johnathan Motley is among 25 players named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, as announced Thursday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Motley is one of four Big 12 Conference players on the list, which was chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts. The 25 players are considered front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor based on their performances during the first half of the 2016-17 season. Motley is joined on the list by Iowa State’s Monte Morris and Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III.

A junior from Houston, Motley was one of four players added to the Midseason Top 25 who were not included in the Preseason Top 50, joining Duke’s Luke Kennard, UCLA’s TJ Leaf and Butler’s Kelan Butler.

Motley, who is in his fourth year at Baylor after redshirting during the 2013-14 season, leads the Big 12 with six double-doubles on the season and is first among active Big 12 players with 11 career double-doubles. He’s started 15 games and is averaging 15.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game. Motley ranks second in the Big 12 in rebounding, seventh in scoring, ninth in field goal percentage (.521) and 10th in blocked shots.

Motley has led Baylor to a 15-1 start and the program’s first-ever No. 1 national ranking. In four wins against ranked opponents, he’s averaged 18.8 points per game, while shooting .533 from the field. He was named 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis MVP after leading the Bears to the tournament title, and he’s twice been named Big 12 Player of the Week this season.

The leading candidates for the award will be further pared to 20 top players in early February. Fifteen top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation while maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be submitted to voters on the Final Ballot prior to the NCAA Tournament. The 10-man Wooden Award All-America Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight.

No. 1 Baylor returns to action at 3:30 p.m. CT Saturday at Kansas State on ESPNU. The Bears’ next home game is The Immortal Ten Game at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Texas. Fans are asked to join the team in wearing black to remember the 90th anniversary of The Immortal Ten.

The Feb. 18 game against Kansas is sold out, but tickets for the six other remaining home games can be purchased by at BaylorBears.com/tickets or by calling the Baylor Athletic Ticket Office at 254-710-1000. Follow @BaylorMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for updates throughout the season.

John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
Joel Berry II, North Carolina
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
De'Aaron Fox, Kentucky
Markelle Fultz, Washington
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
Josh Hart, Villanova
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Luke Kennard, Duke
TJ Leaf, UCLA
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
Kelan Martin, Butler
Frank Mason III, Kansas

Malik Monk, Kentucky
Monte Morris, Iowa State
Johnathan Motley, Baylor
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Melo Trimble, Maryland
Maurice Watson Jr., Creighton
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga

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