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LSU star Angel Reese not eligible for Wooden Award

(David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports)

The 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award were named on Saturday, with one name notably absent.

Angel Reese was not among the 15 finalists, which is headlined by reigning winner Aliyah Boston, despite averaging 23.4 points and 15.6 rebounds per game. Reese is widely considered as one of the top players in the country. 

But LSU later confirmed to ESPN that Reese is ineligible for the final 15 finalists, as she does not meet all of the award’s criteria. 

According to the criteria for the award, candidates must prove more than just their on-court abilities, including: being a full-time student making progress toward graduation with a cumulative 2.00 GPA since enrolling, exhibiting strength of character on and off the court, and excelling in both offense and defense. 

The school did not confirm which of the criteria Reese does not meet, but head coach Kim Mulkey said on Saturday that Reese is in good academic standing.

“Oh absolutely, she is in good academic standing period,” Mulkey said. “It’s just there’s a criteria on some of these awards like, a lot of them will have community service stuff. Some of them will have GPA’s, yeah. She’s academically fine.”

Entering their sophomore year, student-athletes at LSU are required to maintain “at least a 1.8 overall GPA,” according to LSU’s eligibility requirements. That number bumps up to a 1.9 overall GPA prior to the athlete’s fifth semester, and the athlete must have met 40 percent of the requirements to complete their degree. 

Reese is considered a sophomore at LSU per her bio, despite having played two seasons at Maryland.