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Aug. 19, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina senior point guard Devan Downey has been selected to the 2009-10 John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year Trophy preseason top 50 candidate list, as announced today by Richard “Duke” Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder. The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performances and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. It marks the second-consecutive year that Downey has been selected to the preseason list.

Downey secured another impressive season in the statistical categories in 2008-09. He led Carolina with 19.8 points per game, scoring a total of 614 points – the most by a Gamecock in a single season since Zam Fredrick Sr. posted 781 points during his school record-setting season in 1980-81. Downey’s 614 points rank sixth in the Gamecock record book. Downey continued his strong effort on the defensive end as well, swiping 89 steals (2.9 per game). His 192 career steals at Carolina rank fourth in the school record book, while his 3.0 career steals per game average currently ranks atop the Gamecock record book. Downey scored in double figures in 30 of South Carolina’s 31 games in 2008-09, including 15 20-point and two 30-point efforts. He collected his 1,000th career point (including one-year total from Cincinnati) and also tallied his 1,000th point in the Garnet and Black during the season.

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-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA Tournament.

The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winner, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), and Blake Griffin (’09). Candace Parker of Tennessee won the Women’s Wooden Award in 2007 and 2008.