Smith Not Among 15 Wooden Finalists

March 09, 1995|By Don Markus

Maryland's Joe Smith was conspicuously absent when the list of 15 finalists for this year's John R. Wooden national Player of the Year award was announced yesterday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

The 6-foot-10 sophomore All-American, who led the ACC in scoring and was second in rebounding, was expected to be one of the front-runners for the Wooden Award, named in honor of the legendary UCLA basketball coach.

Smith is one of five finalists for the Ban-Naismith Award and the RCA-U.S. Basketball Writers Award and likely will get attention for the Associated Press award. Smith is expected to get the ACC's Player of the Year Award next week.

Three other ACC players made the final cut for the Wooden Award --North Carolina sophomores Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace and Wake Forest senior Randolph Childress. Three other sophomores -- Ray Allen of Connecticut, Kerry Kittles of Villanova and Jacque Vaughn of Kansas -- were finalists.

The others named were Mario Bennett of Arizona State, Alan Henderson of Indiana, Lawrence Moten of Syracuse, Shawn Respert of Michigan State, Lou Roe of Massachusetts, Damon Stoudamire of Arizona, Gary Trent of Ohio, Corliss Williamson of Arkansas and likely favorite Ed O'Bannon of UCLA.

Duke Llewellyn, the chairman of the Wooden Award's executive board, was unavailable for comment on Smith's absence.

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