Willie Cauley-Stein became Kentucky’s 25th consensus first team All-American this week after the Associated Press and National Association of Basketball Coaches each selected the 7-foot junior as one of the nation’s top five players.
The NCAA recognizes the Sporting News, AP, NABC and United States Basketball Writers Association All-America teams in considering consensus All-Americans. Cauley-Stein was named a first team All-American by the USBWA and Sporting News earlier this season.
The junior was also tabbed a 2015 John R. Wooden All-American, one of 10 Wooden All-Americans announced on a 30-minute show on ESPNU.
Selected by nearly 1,000 national college basketball media members and the former award winners, the Wooden All-American team is made up of the 10 student-athletes who were the top vote-getters for the John R. Wooden Award, given annually to the top player in college basketball. Voting took place from March 16-23 and voters could take the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament into consideration.
All 10 players are considered finalists for the Wooden Award, which will be presented April 10 on ESPN2 from Club Nokia in Los Angeles on the first-ever ESPN College Basketball Awards Show.
This year’s 10 Wooden All-Americans are, alphabetically: Ron Baker (Wichita State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Cauley-Stein (Kentucky), Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), Jahlil Okafor (Duke), D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State), Seth Tuttle (Northern Iowa), Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga) and Delon Wright (Utah). Cauley-Stein, Grant, Kaminsky, Okafor and Russell have been invited to the awards show in Los Angeles.
To qualify as a Wooden All-American, all student-athletes must prove to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average.
Now with 25 consensus first team All-American selections in its history, Kentucky tied Purdue and North Carolina for the second most consensus first team All-Americans all-time. Kansas has the most with 28.
Karl-Anthony Towns was also named to the AP and NABC’s Second Team on Monday. Towns became a consensus second team All-American and he was also a third team All-America selection by the Sporting News.
Cauley-Stein has been one of the leading contributors throughout Kentucky’s 38-0 season so far. He averages 9.1 points per game to go with 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.7 blocks. Cauley-Stein is the first AP first-team All-America selection to average less than 10 points per game.
In nine wins over ranked opponents he averaged team highs in points (10.6) and rebounds (8.1). One of the nation’s most effective defenders, Cauley-Stein leads UK in steals (65) while ranking second in blocked shots (65) on the nation’s top-ranked field-goal percentage defense.
This season Cauley-Stein has been a first team All-Southeastern Conference selection and SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He was also the SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player, and was named to the Midwest Region All-Tournament team.
Averaging 25.8 minutes per game as part of UK’s platoon system, Cauley-Stein’s numbers are more impressive when viewed on a pro-rated basis, as he averaged 14.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 1.9 steals per 40 minutes.
Capable of guarding all five positions, Cauley-Stein is the only 7-footer in the country to rank in the top 215 nationally in steals per game. His length came into play in Saturday’s Midwest Regional Final when he altered multiple Notre Dame shots down the stretch.
Earlier this season, Cauley-Stein became the first player in school history to collect 200 or more career blocks and 100 or more career steals. He’s also one of eight players in program history to have 500 or more rebounds, 100 or more blocks, and 75 or more steals.
Towns leads UK with eight double-doubles this year. Having averaged 10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game, Towns stepped up his scoring down the stretch in the Elite Eight scoring a career-high 25 points while also notching career highs in assists (four) and steals (two) in what to-date was the biggest game of his career.
Towns was named Midwest Region MVP last weekend. He was also SEC Freshman of the Year, first team All-SEC and a member of the SEC All-Freshman team.
Anthony Davis was UK’s last consensus first team All-America selection, in 2012. Julius Randle was a third team All-America selection by the AP and NABC last season.
Since 1984, the NCAA has applied a standardized point system to those teams designated as “major” All-American teams to determine consensus teams. The point system consists of three points for first team, two points for second team and one point for third team. The top five totals plus ties are first team and the next five plus ties are second team.
From UK Athletics