Morrison headlines list of Wooden Award finalists

Updated: March 29, 2006, 11:25 PM ET
Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. -- National honors keep piling up for Gonzaga's Adam Morrison.

Already named to The Associated Press All-America first team this week, Morrison is now one of five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award given to the top player in college basketball.

Other finalists are J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams of Duke, Villanova guard Randy Foye and Washington swingman Brandon Roy. Those five also constituted the AP All-America team.

Morrison is also on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week for the second time in a month. The first time, he shared the cover with Redick.

The Wooden Award will be given April 8 at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.

"All of these finalists deserve to be recognized for their extraordinary level of play throughout the season," said Richard Llewellyn, founder and chairman of the Wooden Award.

Morrison is the second Bulldog to be a top five finalist for the award, joining Dan Dickau in 2002. In addition, Casey Calvary in 2001 and Blake Stepp in 2004 made the Top 10 cut for the Wooden Award.

Meanwhile, Morrison told Sports Illustrated that his diabetes will likely be a factor in deciding whether to skip his senior season and declare for the NBA.

The 6-foot-8 forward led the nation with 28 points per game and is considered a likely first-round draft choice.

A Type 1 diabetic, Morrison wears an insulin pump when he is off the court. During games, he checks his blood sugar constantly and might inject himself with insulin several times a game.

He told the magazine that diabetes is likely to take an early toll on his body.

"Time is of the essence," Morrison told the magazine. "I'm going to deteriorate a little faster than anyone else."

"You never know when the diabetes is going to turn the other way," his father, John, told the magazine. "Could be his eyes. Could be his feet. Could be anything. He's way above the curve about taking care of himself, but it could happen. So he has to think about that. He can always get his degree [later]."

Morrison has until the end of April to decide if he will head to the NBA.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press