Iowa's Caitlin Clark, UConn's Paige Bueckers and LSU's Angel Reese headline the preseason list of candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, it was announced Tuesday on ESPN.
Clark and Bueckers won national player of the year honors in 2023 and 2021, respectively, while Reese was the most outstanding player at the 2023 Final Four.
The Wooden Award is given annually to the most outstanding player in college basketball.
The top-50 list is rounded out by Stanford's Cameron Brink, Connecticut's Aaliyah Edwards, Indiana's Mackenzie Holmes, Virginia Tech's Elizabeth Kitley, Florida State's Ta'Niya Latson, Notre Dame's Olivia Miles, Utah's Alissa Pili and LSU's Aneesah Morrow and Hailey Van Lith, all of whom made the national ballot for the award last season.
LSU leads all schools with four players on the preseason top 50 list, followed by UConn, Ohio State and UCLA with three apiece. South Carolina, which ascended to No. 1 in the Associated Press poll on Monday following convincing wins over two top-20 teams, is represented by Kamilla Cardoso and Te-Hina Paopao.
USC's JuJu Watkins, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2023, is the only freshman to appear in the top 50.
The watch list will be narrowed down several times over the course of the season before the five-person All-American team is announced in March, followed by the award's winner.