Jan. 29, 2008
Kevin Durant has started a trend. A year after the former University of Texas phenom became the first freshman ever to win the Naismith Trophy, his feat may be repeated in 2008 as six rookies occupy spots on mid-season Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, the lone returnee from last year's four finalists, is joined by rookies Michael Beasley (Kansas State), Eric Gordon (Indiana), James Harden (Arizona State), Kevin Love (UCLA), O.J. Mayo (USC) and Derrick Rose (Memphis). Love was named the 2007 Naismith National High School Player of the Year.
Bruin teammate Josh Shipp joins Love on the list, making UCLA one of just five schools with multiple players on the list. North Carolina has three players while UCLA, Indiana, memphis and Texas each have two.
The Top 30 men's list was voted on 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, and the list was narrowed down from the pre-season list of 50 candidates who were announced at the beginning of the season. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the men's and women's college basketball players of the year.
"With the influx of talent of the freshmen class it's not surprising to see so many young players vying for the player of the year award," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "Overall, this is an extremely balanced group and it will most assuredly go down to the wire in determining a winner for the most prestigious trophy in college basketball."
Again this year AT&T will give fans an unprecedented voice in selecting the winner. Fan voting, through the power and ease of text messaging, will account for 25 percent of the selection process. This program sets the standard in college athletics for integrating fans into the voting process and providing them with more input than with any other major collegiate sports award.
Beginning Feb. 9, CBS Sports' "AT&T AT THE HALF" will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch highlighting the men's players in contention for the coveted award who have distinguished themselves throughout the season. On March 23, CBS will announce the four Naismith Trophy finalists.
Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until April 5. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. The Men's Naismith Trophy winner will be announced April 6 at the 2008 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
The mid-season candidates for the Naismith Men's Trophy presented by AT&T, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:
2008 Naismith Men's Mid-Season Candidates
Last First Position Class School
Abrams A.J. Guard Junior Texas
Arthur Darrell Forward Sophomore Kansas
Augustin D.J. Guard Sophomore Texas
Beasley Michael Forward Freshman Kansas State
Brockman Jon Forward Junior Washington
Budinger Chase Forward Sophomore Arizona
Curry Stephen Guard Sophomore Davidson
Douglas-Roberts Chris Guard Junior Memphis
Ellington Wayne Guard Sophomore North Carolina
Foster Shan Guard/Forward Senior Vanderbilt
Gordon Eric Guard Freshman Indiana
Green Mike Guard Senior Butler
Harden James Guard Freshman Arizona State
Hansbrough Tyler Forward Junior North Carolina
Harangody Luke Forward Sophomore Notre Dame
Hibbert Roy Center Senior Georgetown
Lawson Ty Guard Sophomore North Carolina
Love Kevin Forward Freshman UCLA
Mayo O.J. Forward Freshman USC
Neitzel Drew Guard Senior Michigan State
Nelson DeMarcus Guard Senior Duke
Reynolds Scottie Guard Sophomore Villanova
Rice Tyrese Guard Junior Boston College
Roberts Brian Guard Senior Dayton
Rose Derrick Guard Freshman Memphis
Shipp Josh Guard/Forward Junior UCLA
Singletary Sean Guard Senior Virginia
Weaver Kyle Guard Senior Washington State
White D.J. Forward Senior Indiana
Young Sam Forward Junior Pittsburgh
Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient, Durant, became the first freshman in the 39-year history of the award to win, edging out seniors Acie Law IV of Texas A&M and Alando Tucker of Wisconsin. Hansbrough, a junior and two-time All America, seeks to become the 16th Atlantic Coast player and first Tar Heel since Antawn Jamison in 1998 to win the Naismith Trophy.