Diallo, Knox Named to Wooden Preseason Top 50
By UK Athletics
LEXINGTON, KY - Kentucky freshman men's basketball players Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox were two of 50 players selected for the John R. Wooden Award's Preseason Top 50. Kentucky is one of seven programs with at least two players among the top 50 preseason favorites for the Wooden Award's Player of the Year trophy.

UK's tandem was also selected earlier this month among the preseason favorites for the US Basketball Writers Association's Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Naismith Player of the Year Trophy.

The preseason top 50 list represents 11 conferences. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award Men's Player of the Year. Players not chosen to the preseason list are 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 are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 grade-point average.

Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players, who have been qualified as meeting the standards set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee. Voting will open prior to the start of 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 of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2018 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's on April 6.

Kentucky's Anthony Davis is the only winner in program history. He claimed the honor in 2012 after helping lead Kentucky to its eighth national championship in program history.

A 6-foot-5 explosive guard, Diallo was a top-10 prospect in the class of 2017 by many national pundits. Both 247 Sports and Scout rated him as the No. 1 overall shooting guard.

Diallo led the Wildcats in scoring through their first two games of the season. He's averaging 17.0 points per game, including an 18-point performance in the season-opening victory over Utah Valley. Diallo has also knocked down three 3-pointers and is shooting at a 48.3-percent clip. He is also contributing 3.0 assists per game.

Knox, one of 10 freshmen on the list, was as a top-10 prospect in the class of 2017, according to Scout, Rivals and ESPN. The 2017 Mr. Florida winner averaged 28.5 points and 11.3 rebounds a game for Tampa Catholic as a senior, where he finished with 2,760 career points. He led the Crusaders to a runner-up finish in the state tournament.

He ranks second on the team in both scoring with 11.5 points per game and rebounding at 7.0 boards a game. A native of Tampa, Florida, Knox is averaging a team-high 36.0 minutes a game while adding six assists and four steals through two games.

Published 08:32 PM, Tuesday Nov. 14, 2017
Updated 08:35 PM, Tuesday Nov. 14, 2017

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