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Baylor Basketball

Baylor’s Walter Named to Wooden Award Preseason Top-50

November 14, 2023

WACO, Texas – Baylor freshman guard Ja’Kobe Walter was one of 50 players named to the Wooden Award Preseason Watch List, as announced on ESPN Tuesday afternoon.

This Wooden Award distinction comes as the latest in a long line of accolades already accumulated by Baylor’s fabulous freshman, as he took home Big 12 Player of the Week honors earlier this week.

Walter is one of just three freshmen and seven Big 12 representatives on the list. He joins Max Abmas from Texas, L.J. Cryer and Jamal Shead from Houston, along with Hunter Dickinson, Dajuan Harris and Kevin McCullar from Kansas.

In just his first three games of the season, Walter has shown his ability as a three-level scorer, averaging a team-leading 16.3 points to go along with 4.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals. The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week ranks in the top-15 in scoring average among freshmen, and the top-5 among power-conference freshmen.

Walter delivered on a big stage right out of the gates this season with 28 points against Auburn, setting a school record for the most points by a freshman in their debut. In the process, he became one of just four freshmen in Big 12 history to score at least 28 in their debut, and the only player to do it against a power-conference opponent.

Last time out, Walter poured in 14 points and a career-high eight rebounds against Gardner-Webb. On a night where the Bears could not find their stroke from deep, Walter took on the scoring load with a team-high 14 points, helping the Bears secure a 3-0 start to the season for a fourth-straight year.

Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All-American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award.

Walter and the Bears will return to the court Tuesday night as they host Kansas City at 9 p.m., with John Morris and Pat Nunley on the call for Big 12 Now on ESPN+. The Bears will then head east for the NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., where they open against Oregon State on Nov. 24, at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.


Jalen Bridges

  • Preseason All-Big 12 (Honorable Mention)
  • Julius Erving Award Preseason Top-20

RayJ Dennis

  • Preseason All-Big 12 (Honorable Mention)

Ja’Kobe Walter

  • Wooden Award Preseason Watch List
  • Big 12 Player of the Week (11/13)
  • Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year
  • Preseason All-Big 12 (Honorable Mention)
  • Jerry West Award Preseason Top-20
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Baylor’s Walter Named to Wooden Award Preseason Top-50

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