Wichita State seniors Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet were named to the Lute Olson Player of the Year Award watch list on Monday.
Both players were among 25 finalists for the award last season, which went to Murray State’s Cameron Payne.
Kansas senior Perry Ellis and Evansville senior D.J. Balentine are also on the preseason list of 30 players. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible.
Baker, a guard from Scott City, has also received preseason All-American notice from the Sporting News and USA Today (second team). VanVleet, a guard from Rockford, Ill., is the Missouri Valley Conference preseason Player of the Year and has All-American mention from USA Today (third team), Sports Illustrated (second team), CBSSports.com (third team) and Sporting News (second team).
FoxSports.com ranked VanVleet the No. 1 player in college basketball earlier this month.
Shockers No. 33 in RPI — WSU’s volleyball team is No. 33 in the NCAA power ranking (RPI), tops in the MVC and one spot up from last week.
Missouri State is No. 40, followed by No. 52 Southern Illinois, No. 55 Northern Iowa and No. 58 Illinois State.
WSU (21-7, 12-2 MVC) plays at Loyola (19-8, 8-6) on Friday. The Ramblers are fighting with Drake and Indiana State for the sixth and final spot in the MVC Tournament. WSU, SIU, Illinois State, Missouri State and UNI have clinched spots in the tournament, which starts Nov. 26 at Missouri State.