Vols Grant Williams named one of five finalists for the Wooden Award


KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE – MARCH 02: Grant Williams #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers shoots the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats at Thompson-Boling Arena on March 02, 2019 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES — Tennessee’s Grant Williams continued receiving praise for his impressive season on Wednesday, being tabbed to the 2019 Men’s Wooden Award All-American Team by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Williams, who has already been coined a unanimous first-team All-American by the NCAA, was one of 10 players selected for the team. The two-time SEC Player of the Year also was one of five finalists invited to Los Angeles for the presentation of the Wooden Award Trophy, which is given to the nation’s most outstanding player, during the ESPN College Basketball Awards. He joined Duke’s R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Murray State’s Ja Morant. The winner will be announced Friday, April 12.

The junior forward established himself as one of the nation’s most versatile and efficient players this year, averaging 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He also shot 57 percent from the field and an impressive 82 percent from the free-throw line.

Williams led the SEC in scoring this season after averaging 18.8 points per game, becoming the ninth Vol ever to be the league’s scoring champion. He also ranked in the top 10 in the league in field-goal percentage (2nd), free-throw percentage (5th), rebounding (7th) and assist/turnover ratio (10th). His 696 points this year ranked sixth all time in school history for a single season and marked the most points by a Vol since Allan Houston’s 717 in 1991-92. His 55 blocks were tied for sixth.

Through three seasons, the Charlotte, N.C. native, has moved into the top 10 on UT’s all-time career lists for blocks (3rd/160), free-throw attempts (3rd/661), free throws made (4th/501) and offensive rebounds (8th/257). He also ranks 12th in scoring with 1,629 career points.

In 2018-19, Williams helped the Vols (31-6) earn their first Sweet Sixteen bid since 2014 and match the program record for wins in a single season. He also played a critical role in this year’s team setting program records for points, field goals made, assists and blocks.

Williams joined Chris Lofton (2008), Dale Ellis (1983) and Ernie Grunfeld (1977) as the only Tennessee players to earn a spot on the prestigious Wooden Award All-American Team.

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