Feb. 13, 2006
ATLANTA (Feb. 13, 2006) - Thirty of the country's top collegiate men's basketball players, including UCLA sophomore point guard Jordan Farmar, were named as mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the men's and women's players of the year.
The Top 30 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season. The list was narrowed down from the pre-season list of 50 candidates who were announced at the beginning of the season. Farmar is now on the Mid-Season lists of the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award, both honoring the nation's top collegiate player.
"This year's field of potential winners is beginning to come into shape," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "As we head into the stretch run of the season and approach tournament time, I'd expect many of these young men to show why they deserve to be considered for the Naismith Trophy."
Cingular Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, will again give fans an influential voice in selecting this year's winner. Fan voting, through the power and ease of text messaging, will account for 25% of the selection process once the four finalists are announced. This program sets the standard for integrating fans into the voting process and providing them with more input than with any other major collegiate sports award
"The Naismith Trophy is special not only because it represents the best player in the country, but because it also allows college basketball fans an unprecedented voice in determining the winner," said David Garver, Executive Director of High Growth Segments and Sponsorships at Cingular Wireless. "This is a very talented group of nominees and Cingular is excited to once again present the award and help recognize the most outstanding players in college basketball."
Beginning February 11, CBS Sports' "CINGULAR AT THE HALF" will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch highlighting the players in contention. These players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March when four finalists for the award are announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors. The Naismith Trophy winner will be named at the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis.
The mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:
2005-2006 Top 30 Men's Mid-Season Candidates
|Maurice Ager||6'5"||Sr.||Guard||Michigan State|
|Shannon Brown||6'4"||Jr.||Guard||Michigan State|
|Paul Davis||6'11"||Sr.||Center||Michigan State|
|Glen Davis||6'9"||So.||Forward||Louisiana State|
|Mike Gansey||6'4"||Sr.||Forward||West Virginia|
|Paul Millsap||6'8"||Jr.||Forward||Louisiana Tech|
|Kevin Pittsnogle||6'11"||Sr.||Center||West Virginia|
|Craig Smith||6'7"||Sr.||Forward||Boston College|
Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient was University of Utah center Andrew Bogut. Other notable men's college player of the year winners include UCLA great Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Christian Laettner. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club has presented the Naismith Trophy since Bruin great Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) first won the first award in 1969.
The Naismith Awards program has become an emblem of excellence for the game, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Player of the Year, Men's and Women's Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and overall contribution to the game.