Jaylen Adams of St. Bonaventure University again found himself in some elite college basketball company.
The 6-foot-2 senior guard from Baltimore is one of 50 athletes who are early front-runners for college basketball's most prestigious individual honor, the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's announced Tuesday.
It's the fourth watch list for a major award that Adams has been named to this season. He's on the list for the Bob Cousy Award for the nation's top point guard and the Oscar Robertson Award for the best player in college basketball. Tuesday, he also was among the 50 NCAA Division I players on the watch list for the 2017-18 Citizen Naismith Trophy for National Player the Year as selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
The 50-player Wooden list is led by Grayson Allen of Duke, who is a returning member of the Wooden Award All-America team. The list also includes Joel Berry II of North Carolina's NCAA championship team and such standouts as Miles Bridges (Michigan State), Bonzie Colson (Notre Dame) and Devonte' Graham (Kansas). Allen is among three players from Duke on the list. There also are three from Arizona and two each from Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Notre Dame and the University of Southern California.
It includes 10 freshman — DeAndre Ayton of Arizona, Marvin Bagley III and Trevon Duval of Duke, Mohamed Bamba of Texas, Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox of Kentucky, Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State, Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri, Collin Sexton of Alabama and Trae Young of Oklahoma.
This is the 50th year of the Naismith Trophy. The list of 50 was determined by a poll of basketball experts. It will be trimmed to 30 in February. A final ballot of 15 players will go to more than 1,000 voters in March during the NCAA tournament.
As a junior, Adams was the only Division I player to rank in the top 25 nationally in scoring (20.5) and assists. He was a first team All-Atlantic 10 selection each of the last two seasons and made regional teams selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
The big question surrounding Adams now is: When will he play? He did not participate in St. Bonaventure's opening loss to Niagara last Friday due to a sprained left ankle. Also, he is not expected to play in either of the Bonnies' home games this week against Maryland Eastern Shore tonight or against Jackson State on Saturday afternoon. His first appearance in a regular season game is expected to come on Friday, Nov. 24 against the university from his home state, Maryland, in the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Fla.
Tonight's Maryland Eastern Shore game at the Reilly Center also is part of the Emerald Coast Classic as will be the Jackson State game on Saturday. UMES comes in with a 1-1 record. The Hawks' last game was a 96-43 loss to Maryland in College Park on Sunday. Cameron Bacote, a 6-3 freshman guard from Hampton, Va., leads the Hawks with a 23.0 point average in two games so far. Bacote had 28 points in a 95-69 win over Valley Forge in the UMES opener and 18 against the Maryland Terrapins.
Adams was limited to 10 points when Eastern Shore defeated Bona, 82-80, at the Reilly Center two seasons ago.