Feb. 24, 2009
ATLANTA (Feb. 24, 2009) - Saint Mary's sophomore guard Patrick Mills was named to the 2009 Naismith Trophy Mid-Season Candidate List, which was announce toady. Mills is one of 30 players named to the mid-season list, which includes the top players from across the country in Division I basketball.
Mills, who has been sidelined for four weeks with a broken right hand, was averaging a team-leading 18.7 points and 3.8 assists per game before his injury. He was averaging 32.8 minutes per game, while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and 36.3 percent from 3-point land, and had 47 steals to rank 21st in the country with 2.4 steals per game.
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. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the men's college basketball player ofthe year. This year, the award will be presented at the NCAA Men's Final Four in Detroit.
This season marks the 40th anniversary of the first Naismith Trophy, which was presented to UCLA's Lew Alcindor, who is known today as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At the time, the Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 basketball season, was looking to create a national identity for its brand and created the award to honor the best basketball player in the nation. Alcindor, along with UCLA head coach John Wooden, flew to Atlanta in the spring of 1969 to receive the trophy.
"Looking at the college basketball landscape, it's understandable that so many of the top players nationwide are contenders for the Naismith Trophy," said Gary Stokan, president, Atlanta Tipoff Club. "The final month of the season will be telling, and that is what makes college basketball so exciting."
For the sixth consecutive season, presenting sponsor AT&T will once again 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 percent of the final results -- more than any other national college basketball award. This year, beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers -- and sports fans on other wireless networks -- will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice.
"The Naismith Trophy is unique among college awards in that it gives the fans a real voice in selecting the top player in the country," said Tim McGhee, executive director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. "AT&T is proud to sponsor the Naismith and to empower fans to make sure their voices are heard"
2009 Naismith Men's Mid-Season Candidates
Last, First Class Position SchoolAbrams, A.J. Sr. Guard TexasAdrien, Jeff Sr. Forward ConnecticutBlair, DeJuan So. Center PittsburghBooker, Trevor Jr. Forward/Center ClemsonBrockman, Jon Sr. Forward WashingtonCalathes, Nick So. Guard/Forward FloridaChristmas, Dionte Sr. Guard TempleClark, Earl Jr. Guard/Forward LouisvilleCollins, Sherron Jr. Guard KansasCurry, Stephen Jr. Guard DavidsonDowney, Devan Jr. Guard South CarolinaGriffin, Blake So. Forward OklahomaHansbrough, Tyler Sr. Forward North CarolinaHarangody, Luke Jr. Forward Notre DameHarden, James So. Guard Arizona StateHenderson, Gerald Sr. Forward DukeHummel, Robbie So. Guard/Forward PurdueJohnson, James So. Forward Wake ForestLawson, Ty Jr. Guard North CarolinaMaynor, Eric Sr. Guard Virginia CommonwealthMcClinton, Jack Sr. Guard MiamiMcNeal, Jerel Sr. Guard MarquetteMeeks, Jodie Jr. Guard KentuckyMills, Patrick So. Guard Saint Mary'sRice, Tyrese Sr. Guard Boston CollegeSingler, Kyle So. Forward DukeTeague, Jeff So. Guard Wake ForestThabeet, Hasheem Jr. Center ConnecticutWilliams, Terrence Sr. Forward LouisvilleYoung, Sam Sr. Forward Pittsburgh
Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 4, 2009. 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.
CBS Sports' "AT&T at the Half" features 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 22, CBS will announce the four Naismith Trophy finalists during its first-round coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient, Hanbrough, became the third player from North Carolina (Michael Jordan, 1984 and Antawn Jamison, 1998) and the 16th player from the ACC to win the award.
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, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Naismith Trophy in 1983.
The Naismith Award has become an emblem of excellence for the game, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.