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Elijah Johnson, Jeff Withey make Wooden Award preseason top 50

A pair of Jayhawks who played key roles in the team's trip to the NCAA Tournament Championship Game cracked the prestigious preseason list.

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Kansas Jayhawks' senior guard Elijah Johnson and senior center Jeff Withey have been named to the John R. Wooden Award preseason top 50 list that was revealed Thursday morning by Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com.

Johnson, a 6'4 combo guard, had a stellar NCAA Tournament last year averaging 13.3 points per game in the Jayhawks' six-game tournament run that ended in a 67-59 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in the final. He is expected to play a key role in Kansas' quest for a ninth consecutive Big 12 title.

The 7' Withey set an NCAA Tournament record with 31 blocked shots last year. The Jayhawks big man averaged 9.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks on the 2011-12 season.

The pair are joined on the list by Kansas State Wildcats guard Rodney McGruder and Missouri Tigers guard Phil Pressey. Pressey led the Big 12 in assists last season, while McGruder averaged 15.8 points per game for the Wildcats.