Baylor basketball forward Johnathan Motley is among 15 student-athletes included on the 2017 National Ballot for the John R. Wooden Award, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Saturday.
The National Ballot was selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board. The 15 student-athletes included are candidates for the Wooden Award All American Team and one will receive the Wooden Award Trophy presented to the most outstanding college basketball player in the United States.
Voting will take place March 13-20, and voters, consisting of nearly 1,000 members of the national college basketball media, will consider the entire regular season and opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Fans may vote at www.woodenawardvote.com.
Ten players named to the Wooden Award All American Team will be finalists for the Wooden Award, widely considered the most prestigious honor in college basketball. The All American Team will be announced following the Elite Eight, and the 41st annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award will be included in the ESPN College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s on April 7.
Motley is one of three Big 12 players included on the National Ballot, joining Kansas’ Frank Mason and Josh Jackson. The list also includes UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Oregon’s Dillon Brooks, Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson, Washington’s Markelle Fultz, Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, Villanova’s Josh Hart, North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, Duke’s Luke Kennard, Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen, Kentucky’s Malik Monk, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan and Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss.
Motley is also one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy, one of 19 players on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List and is one of 10 finalists for the Karl Malone Award. He has a chance to become Baylor’s first-ever AP first-team All-American.
Motley, a fourth-year junior from Houston, leads the Big 12 with 13 double-doubles and 10.0 rebounds per game, ranks third with 17.5 points per game, fifth with a .517 field goal percentage, 12th with a .729 free throw percentage and 12th with 1.1 blocks per game. He also has 71 assists in 30 games this season, more than the 53 assists he posted in 68 games over his first two seasons combined.
The 6-foot-10 forward’s numbers have improved in Big 12 play, where he leads the league with 10 double-doubles and 10.8 rebounds per game, and he ranks second in scoring with 18.4 points per game.
In his last 14 games, Motley is averaging 20.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 blocks in 33.2 minutes per contest. He eclipsed the 20-point mark seven times in that stretch and has 10 games of 20+ points this season.
Motley currently ranks 21st on Baylor’s all-time scoring list with 1,164 career points and seventh in program history with 117 career blocks. He also has 124 assists and 616 rebounds, making him the first player in program history with 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 100 assists and 100 blocks.
No. 11 Baylor finished the regular season 25-6 overall and 12-6 in Big 12 play. The Bears’ 25 wins tied the 2012 season for most in a regular season in program history, and the 12 Big 12 wins tied the same season for most wins in conference play. Baylor also finished tied for second in the Big 12 standings, equaling the 2010 season for best finish in the league’s 21-year history.
Baylor earned the No. 3 seed in the 2017 Big 12 Championship and will face No. 6 seed Kansas State in the quarterfinals. That game will tip off at 8 p.m. CT Thursday and air on ESPNU.
2017 Wooden Award National Ballot
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
Markelle Fultz, Washington
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
Josh Hart, Villanova
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Luke Kennard, Duke
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
Frank Mason III, Kansas
Johnathan Motley, Baylor
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga