UConn star point guard Tristen Newton named to Wooden Award national ballot

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UConn point guard Tristen Newton was named one of 15 candidates on the national ballot for the Wooden Award All-American Team and the Wooden Award Trophy, which goes to the most outstanding college basketball player in the nation, on Saturday.

Newton, leading the reigning national champions in points (15.1), rebounds (7.1) and assists (5.9), is the first UConn men’s basketball player on the national ballot since Kemba Walker in 2011.

Voting for the award takes place from March 18-25, with voters taking the entire season into consideration as well as the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Finalists will be announced before the Final Four on April 2.

Newton is the NCAA’s active leader in triple-doubles after recording the fourth of his career, and his second of the season, in a 34-point win over Villanova at Gampel Pavilion Feb. 20. He has had nine double-doubles this season, six games with at least 20 points, and led the team in rebounding 14 times and eight times in scoring. The graduate student from El Paso, Texas, is the only active NCAA player to have eclipsed career milestones of 1,800 points, 650 rebounds and 650 assists.

“He’s certainly positioned right now to have as good a two-year run at the guard spot as anyone’s ever had in the uniform here,” UConn head coach Dan Hurley said before Newton was recognized on Senior Day. “In terms of what he has ahead of him, what he could accomplish in terms of success with team and triple-doubles and such, he’s in a position that few people have been in here.”

The 6-foot-6 guard has also been named to the Naismith Player of the Year Midseason Watch List, the Oscar Robertson Award/USBWA All-America Midseason Top 40, and is a top five finalist for the Bob Cousy Award this year.

Newton was one of two Big East players named to the Wooden Award National Ballot, where he was joined by Marquette point guard Tyler Kolek.

Wooden Award National Ballot

Johnai Broome, Auburn; RJ Davis, North Carolina; Hunter Dickinson, Kansas; Zach Edey, Purdue; Kyle Filipowski, Duke

DaRon Holmes II, Dayton; Dalton Knecht, Tennessee; Tyler Kolek, Marquette; Jaedon LeDee, San Diego State; Caleb Love, Arizona

Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas; Tristen Newton, UConn; Antonio Reeves, Kentucky; Mark Sears, Alabama; Jamal Shead, Houston