LOS ANGLES, Calif. -- University of Michigan men's basketball junior Manny Harris(Detroit, Mich./Redford) and senior DeShawn Sims(Detroit, Mich./Pershing) were selected as 2009-10 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden All-America Team and Player of the Year awards, announced Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder. Michigan was one of nine schools to have two players selected to the list.
The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
Sims and Harris were instrumental in helping U-M post its 22nd 20-plus win season (21-14) and make its 21st appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09. The "Motor City Duo" led U-M in almost every statistical category and combined to score 1,130 points -- the 12th-best mark for a U-M duo in a single season.
Harris, who was an All-Big Ten first team selection by the Big Ten coaches and media last season, recorded career bests in almost every statistical category in his second season. Harris led U-M in scoring (16.9), rebounding (6.8), assists (4.4), steals (1.2), minutes (32.9), three-point field goals (52) and free-throw percentage (86.3 percent). He scored 590 points during the campaign to become the sixth U-M sophomore, 27th Big Ten sophomore and 43rd Wolverine to eclipse 1,000 career points.
Harris, who posted six double-doubles, was one of two Big Ten players to rank among the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and assists. He also earned Academic All-Big Ten and U-M Athletic Academic Achievement honors and was a Wooden Award Mid-Season Top 30 candidate.
Throughout his third season in 2008-09, Sims showed continual improvement, averaging a career-best 15.4 points and career-best 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 50.5 percent from the field. He was named an All-Big Ten second teamer by the Big Ten media and a third-team selection by the Big Ten coaches, and he became the 23rd U-M junior and the 44th Wolverine to score 1,000 points with his first 500-plus point season (540).
Sims led U-M with 30 games scoring in double figures and had a career-best 29 points against Purdue on Feb. 26. He had five double-doubles, including posting the first 20/20 game in 31 years with exactly 20 points and 20 rebounds against Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 22, 2008.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for December's Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March.
In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-America Team will be announced the week of the NCAA Elite Eight round during the NCAA Tournament.
The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which includes the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winner as well as the presentation of the Wooden Award All-America Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423