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Aliyah Boston, Caitlin Clark headline Wooden Award finalists

(Elsa/Getty Images)

South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston and Destanni Henderson headlined the 15-player national ballot for the 2022 John R. Wooden Award, announced on Saturday.

Boston is widely considered the favorite for the award, which is given out annually to the best college basketball player in the country.

Stanford joined South Carolina as the only other program with two players on the final list of 15 nominees, with Haley Jones and Cameron Brink both making the cut.

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, another finalist, is leading the country with 27.2 points and 8.2 assists per game along with five triple-doubles.

Aneesah Morrow of DePaul, who has amassed an NCAA-leading 23 consecutive double-doubles this season, is the only freshman on the list.

Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith, Maryland’s Angel Reese, LSU’s Khayla Pointer, Kansas State’s Ayoka Lee, Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard, Michigan’s Naz Hillmon, NC State’s Elissa Cunane, Ole Miss’ Shakira Austin and Iowa State’s Ashley Joens round out the 15-player list.

UConn sophomore guard Paige Bueckers, the 2021 Wooden Award winner, was not included among the finalists after missing 19 games following knee surgery this season.

The 10-player Wooden All-America team will be announced after the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, and the finalists will be invited to the Wooden Award ceremony in Los Angeles in April.