The 20 individuals named to the list are considered frontrunners for one of the sport’s most prestigious honors based on their performances to this point in the 2015-16 season. Established in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is presented annually to a student-athlete who not only showcases athletic prowess on the court, but also demonstrates progress toward graduation by maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 grade-point average.
Allen has had one of the breakout years in all of college basketball this season, averaging team bests of 20.8 points and 3.6 assists to go along with 4.6 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game. He is shooting 49.4 percent from the floor, 43.9 percent from three-point range and 86.1 percent from the free throw line.
The Jacksonville, Fla., native’s scoring average ranks second in the ACC and fifth among players in the major college basketball conferences, while he also ranks third in the ACC in three-point field goal percentage, sixth in free throw percentage, eighth in three-point field goals per game (2.3) and 10th in field goal percentage.
Allen is currently on pace to become the ninth Duke player, and first since Nolan Smith in 2011, to lead the Blue Devils in both scoring and assists in a season. He has eclipsed the 20-point mark 11 times this season, including three 30-point efforts, and has led Duke in scoring a dozen times.
His scoring increase of 16.4 points per game from last season is on pace to set a new ACC record, as he averaged 4.4 points per contest in reserve duty in helping Duke win its fifth national championship a year ago. He has scored in double figures in 22 of Duke’s 24 games this season and is currently in the midst of a streak of 13 consecutive double-figure scoring games.
Allen has been named ACC Player of the Week twice this season and was tabbed 2K Classic MVP after leading Duke to the title in November. He is also among the finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
A final ballot of 15 players will be announced before the NCAA Tournament begins and the announcement of the Wooden Award All-America Team will occur during the week leading up to the NCAA Tournament regional round.