Tennessee junior forward Grant Williams has been added to several award watch lists this year, and today he was named to the Wooden Award Preseason watch list.
The John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious honor a college basketball player can achieve. Put together by national college basketball writers, the preseason list consists of 50 players across the country who are considered some of the top players in college basketball.
This is the third preseason national player of the year consideration Williams has been recognized for. The North Carolina native has also appeared on the watch list for the Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year and the NABC Division I Player of the Year. In addition, Williams was voted by the SEC media as the Preseason SEC Player of the Year as well as a Preseason All-SEC First Team selection.
“He (Williams) is as cerebral of a player as I’ve ever coached,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said on Tuesday night following the Vols’ season-opening win over Lenoir-Rhyne. “He should be a double-double guy every single night. Every single night. But he’s going to have to make a conscious effort to do it.”
Williams scored 13 points and added seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and two steals in the Vols’ first game of the season on Tuesday night. A season ago, Williams won SEC Player of the Year after leading Tennessee to a share of the SEC regular season title. He averaged 15.2 points and six rebounds per game during his breakout campaign.
The winner of the 2019 John R. Wooden Award will be recognized during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 12th. As for the Wooden Award All-American Team, it will be announced the week of the Elite Eight.