Dec. 18, 2008
ATLANTA - Three West Coast Conference players were named to the 2008-09 Naismith Trophy preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt, along with Saint Mary's Patrick Mills, were among a select group of 50 of the elite players in the nation named to the prestigious preseason watch list.
The WCC was one of seven conferences with three or more players named to the preseason Naismith Trophy list. The WCC tied the Big Ten for the sixth most players named to the list, and had more players named to the list than any other non-BCS conference in the country. The Big East led the way with 11 players on the list, followed by the SEC with six, the Pac-10 and Big 12 with five each, and the WCC and the Big Ten with three apiece.
The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2008-09 college basketball season. The watch list does not include incoming freshmen, although those student-athletes will be considered in the first vote in February, 2009. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2009 NCAA Men's Final Four in Detroit, Mich.
"The talent level across all conferences continues to impress, and that will create an even greater challenge for our voting academy when it comes time to select the winner in April," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "And we look forward to this special season, our 40th anniversary of the most prestigious trophy in all of college basketball."
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% of the final results - more than any other national college basketball award. At the beginning of February, CBS' "AT&T at the Half" will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention.In February, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its early season 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.
Other notable Naismith Men's College Player of the Year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's player of the year.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
2008-09 Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List:
Last, First - Class - Position - School
Abrams, A.J. - Sr. - Guard - Texas
Adrien, Jeff - Sr. - Forward - Connecticut
Akognon, Josh - Sr. - Guard - Cal. St. Fullerton
Blair, DeJuan - So. - Forward - Pittsburgh
Brockman, Jon - Sr. - Forward - Washington
Brown, Derrick - Jr. - Forward - Xavier
Budinger, Chase - Jr. - Forward - Arizona
Calathes, Nick - So. - Guard/Forward - Florida
Clark, Earl - Jr. - Guard/Forward - Louisville
Collins, Sherron - Jr. - Guard - Kansas
Collison, Darren - Sr. - Guard - UCLA
Cummard, Lee - Sr. - Guard - Brigham Young
Curry, Stephen - Jr. - Guard - Davidson
Downey, Devan - Jr. - Guard - South Carolina
Dozier, Robert - Sr. - Forward - Memphis
Ellington, Wayne - Jr. - Guard - North Carolina
Gibson, Taj - Jr. - Forward - Southern California
Griffin, Blake - So. - Forward - Oklahoma
Hansbrough, Tyler - Sr. - Forward - North Carolina
Harangody, Luke - Jr. - Forward - Notre Dame
Harden, James - So. - Guard - Arizona State
Henderson, Gerald - Jr. - Guard/Forward - Duke
Heytvelt, Josh - Sr. - Forward - Gonzaga
Hudson, Lester - Sr. - Guard - University of Tennessee-Martin
Hummel, Robbie - So. - Forward - Purdue
James, Dominic - Sr. - Guard - Marquette
James, Damion - Jr. - Guard/Forward - Texas
Jerrells, Curtis - Sr. - Guard - Baylor
Lawal, Gani - So. - Forward - Georgia Tech
Lawson, Ty - Jr. - Guard - North Carolina
Maynor, Eric - Sr. - Guard - Virginia Commonwealth
Mayo, Josh - Sr. - Guard - Illinois-Chicago
McAlarney, Kyle - Sr. - Guard - Notre Dame
McClinton, Jack - Sr. - Guard - Miami
McNeal, Jerel - Sr. - Guard - Marquette
Mills, Patrick - So. - Guard - Saint Mary's
Moore, E'Twaun - So. - Guard - Purdue
Morgan, Raymar - Jr. - Forward - Michigan State
Ogilvy, A.J. - So. - Center - Vanderbilt
Pargo, Jeremy - Sr. - Guard - Gonzaga
Patterson, Patrick - So. - Forward - Kentucky
Price, A.J. - Sr. - Guard - Connecticut
Reynolds, Scottie - Jr. - Guard - Villanova
Rice, Tyrese - Sr. - Guard - Boston College
Smith, Tyler - Jr. - Forward - Tennessee
Steele, Ronald - Sr. - Guard - Alabama
Thabeet, Hasheem - Jr. - Center - Connecticut
Vaden, Robert - Sr. - Guard/Forward - Alabama-Birmingham
Wilkinson, Gary - Sr. - Forward - Utah State
Young, Sam - Sr. - Forward - Pittsburgh