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James Bouknight among premier players listed on Wooden Award watch list

UConn men’s basketball’s focal point is in the running for yet another award as the 2020-21 season gets underway.

UConn men’s basketball’s James Bouknight dunks during a game against Tulane in January.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

For the third time this year, UConn men’s basketball’s James Bouknight has been named to a prestigious award watch list. This time around, he’s an early-season candidate for the John R. Wooden Award alongside 49 of the best players in men’s college basketball.

In recent weeks, Bouknight also appeared on watch lists for the Naismith Trophy Award and the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. Additionally, he was named to the Preseason All-Big East Second Team.

The sophomore will look to build on a strong freshman campaign, where he averaged 13 points and 4.1 points in nearly 26 minutes per game. He played some of his best ball down the stretch, averaging over 17 points per game over the final 12 contests of the season.

Bouknight is certainly off to a strong start so far, averaging 19 points and six rebounds per game while leading the Huskies to victories over CCSU and Hartford. He has been fairly efficient form the floor as well, with a 51.9% field goal percentage, but his shooting hasn’t been where it was last year. He finished last season with a 34.7% 3-point percentage, but is shooting just 27.3% from deep after the first two games.

The list of 50 Wooden Award candidates will be trimmed down to 15 throughout the season. That list will then be cut down to 10 and the winner will be chosen from there. Players not currently on the preseason watch list can make it onto the list throughout the season. The Wooden Award will be announced after the NCAA Tournament in April.