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Wooden Winner a Real Longshot

Three-point marksman Redick edges Morrison in vote. LSU's Augustus wins women's award.

April 09, 2006|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

J.J. Redick had more pressing concerns this season than how many points a certain floppy-haired forward from Gonzaga was scoring every night.

The Duke shooting guard's attention often would be focused on the health of Michael McCauley, a 13-year-old from Chantilly, Va., who was making a tricky recovery from brain surgery. The boy, whom Redick had met through a mutual friend, suffered from severe headaches and continually faced the threat of blackouts and seizures.

Redick said McCauley served as an inspiration for him this season, and that he was amazed by McCauley's ability to "live every day to its fullest." The boy even found time to collect and distribute gifts to other hospital-bound children.

And McCauley, no doubt, was awed by the uncanny shooting touch of Redick, the Atlantic Coast Conference's all-time leading scorer who Saturday morning became the 30th recipient of the John R. Wooden Award in a ceremony at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Redick thanked McCauley for his courage during his acceptance speech after edging Gonzaga's Adam Morrison in the third-closest race in the history of the award. Redick, who finished as runner-up last year to Utah's Andrew Bogut, received 4,646 points, 72 more than Morrison, from a panel of more than 1,000 sportswriters and college basketball observers.

"I knew it was going to be close just because there are so many good players," said Redick, the fifth Duke player to win what some consider college basketball's most prestigious award.

Morrison, whose 28.1 scoring average led the nation, was gracious in defeat.

"J.J.'s had a great career at Duke," Morrison said. "Obviously, it's a good cap to his amazing career, so I'm happy for him."

Morrison, a junior, also said he had not decided whether to forgo his final season of eligibility and turn pro.

Duke forward Shelden Williams finished third with 2,142 points, followed by Villanova guard Randy Foye with 2,050 and Washington guard Brandon Roy with 1,885.

Louisiana State guard Seimone Augustus won a second consecutive Women's Wooden Award, with 298 points to North Carolina guard Ivory Latta's 215.

Jim Boeheim, the longtime Syracuse coach who reached the Final Four with the Orangemen as an assistant in 1975, Wooden's final year at UCLA, received the Legends of Coaching Award.

The two men most closely linked to the Wooden Award did not attend the ceremony. Wooden disassociated himself from the L.A. Athletic Club after a dispute over the use of his name, and Duke Llewellyn, the award's founder and chairman, remains in a rehabilitation center recovering from surgery to remove a tumor from his colon.

Redick averaged 26.8 points and made 42% of his three-point attempts this season.

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