By Brandon Harrison | Wisconsin Press Release
MADISON, Wis. – Sophomore forward Ethan Happ of the No. 22 Wisconsin men’s basketball team has been named to the final ballot for the John R. Wooden National Player of the Year Award, as announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Saturday.
Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts, the Wooden Award final ballot is comprised of 15 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious individual honor. A winner will be announced in April.
Happ became the seventh Badger to be named to the final ballot for the Wooden Award. In 2015, Frank Kaminsky became the first player in program history to win the award, as he went on to become consensus National Player of the Year.
Earlier this week, Happ was announced as one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy. The Milan, Illinois, native is also a midseason finalist for Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year and is a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.
After a breakout freshman campaign garnered him Preseason All-Big Ten honors, Happ has been building a case to be an All-American in his sophomore season. Happ is the nation’s only player to lead his team in points (14.9 ppg), rebounds (8.5 rpg), assists (2.9 apg), blocks (1.5 bpg) and steals (2.5 spg) during conference play.
Over the last 20 seasons, only 3 major conference players have led their team in all 5 categories during conference play: Utah’s Delon Wright (2014), St. John’s D.J. Kennedy (2010) and Virginia Tech’s Bryant Matthews (2003).
Happ is the only player in the NCAA averaging at least 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. In fact, over the last 20 years, no major conference player has reached those marks for an entire season.
Wisconsin finishes the regular season against Minnesota on Sunday with a 5 p.m. (CT) contest on BTN. The game will serve as Senior Day for Vitto Brown, Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig and Zak Showalter.