Okafor, Duhon among candidates for player of year

Updated: April 5, 2004, 8:19 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Duke's Chris Duhon and Connecticut's Emeka Okafor are among five finalists for the John R. Wooden award as the nation's top college basketball player.

Okafor led the Huskies to Monday night's NCAA championship game against Georgia Tech.

Duhon helped Duke reach the national semifinals, where the Blue Devils lost to Connecticut.

The other finalists are Stanford's Josh Childress, Saint Joseph's Jameer Nelson and Mississippi State's Lawrence Roberts.

Nelson, who was named The AP player of the year last week, helped his team to a 30-2 record and a berth in the final eight of the NCAA tournament.

Roberts averaged 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds this season. Childress helped Stanford to a 30-2 record and the Pac-10 championship.

The winner will be announced Saturday at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Stanford's Mike Montgomery will receive the Legends of Coaching award and the inaugural women's Wooden Award winner will be named.

The winner is determined in national voting by more than 1,000 media and college basketball experts.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press