Oct. 25, 2007
ATLANTA - Twelve representatives from seven Pac-10 conference programs headline the 2007-08 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T preseason candidate watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. Led by UCLA with three (Darren Collison, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Josh Shipp), California (2), Stanford (2), Washington State (2), Arizona (1), Washington (1) and USC (1) also were represented. North Carolina tied UCLA with three (Wayne Ellington, Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson), and the ACC had the second-most candidates with seven.
The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its pre-season criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2007-08 season. Seniors and juniors accounted for 17 apiece, along with 16 sophomores. The list does not include incoming freshmen, although those student-athletes will be considered in the first vote in January, 2008. The Naismith Trophy is a prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's players of the year.
"The talent level is vast and far-reaching which indicates competition continues to grow at a high rate," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "The winner of the Naismith Trophy can come from any conference and any class rank, as we witnessed last year with our first ever freshman winner, Kevin Durant of Texas."
AT&T will continue to set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year's winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25% of the final results - more than any other national college basketball award.
In January, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its preseason list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March. Beginning in mid-February, CBS' "AT&T at the Half" will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention. In April, the Naismith Trophy winner will be recognized at the NCAA Men's Final Four in San Antonio.
Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient was University of Texas forward Kevin Durant, who became the first freshmen ever to win the award. Other notable men's college player of the year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson.
For more information on the Naismith awards click here.