LOS ANGELES -- Cleveland State senior guard Norris Cole (Dayton, Ohio) was named as one of 20 finalists for the 2011 John R. Wooden Award, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced today. The Wooden Award ballot was sent out to nearly 1,000 members of the media who cover college basketball.
Cole earned Horizon League Player of the Year honors after pacing the League in scoring (21.6 ppg), steals (2.2 spg) and tying for the assists (5.5 apg) lead at the end of the regular season. The Dayton Dunbar H.S.-product joined Darius Clemons (Loyola, 1980-81) as the only players to lead the League in all three categories in the same season. The senior became just the second player in the last 15 years to record a 40-point, 20-rebound performance on Feb. 12 with a virtuoso effort of 41 points, 20 caroms and nine assists versus Youngstown State.
The Bob Cousy Award finalist has already set the Cleveland State single-season scoring record with 735 points on the year, besting the old mark of 704. With 1,933 career points, Cole ranks fourth in Viking history and is tied for 11th in Horizon League history in career scoring entering the NIT.
The Wooden Award All-America Teams will be announced the week of the Elite Eight during the NCAA Tournament; voters have until Monday, March 28 to return their ballots. The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony will include the announcement of the men's and women's Wooden Award winners and a tribute to Coach Wooden, will take place on April 8, 2011, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.