Nelson edged Connecticut center Emeka Okafor to complete a sweep of college basketball's player of the year awards. Nelson also won the Naismith Award and Adolph Rupp Trophy as well as the Bob Cousy Award as the top college point guard.
Nelson had 5,408 points in the Wooden Award balloting, 193 more than Okafor, in a panel of over 1,000 voters comprised of a nationwide media panel.
The voting closed on March 29, before Okafor led Connecticut to the national championship.
Nelson led Saint Joseph's in points (20.2), assists (5.3) and steals (2.9) while helping the Hawks to a 30-2 record and a trip to the NCAA tournament regional finals.
Mike Montgomery, who guided Stanford to a 30-2 record, a Pac-10 championship and a 10th straight trip to the NCAA tournament, received the Legends of Coaching Award.
Duke's Alana Beard was the winner of the inaugural women's Wooden Award on Friday.