Eight Big 12 men’s basketball players from five different schools are part of the preseason watch list for the 2010 Naismith Trophy, it was announced. A Big 12 player has won the honor in two of the last three seasons.
The total of eight student-athletes was tied for third among all conferences. Kansas, with Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry, was the only school in the nation with three representatives on the list. Texas had two players – Avery Bradley and Damion James.
The Big 12 was the only conference with multiple freshmen (Henry, Bradley) among the 50 standouts listed. Three other league schools – Iowa State (Craig Brackins), Oklahoma (Willie Warren) and Oklahoma State (James Anderson) – each had one player included.
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 2009-10 college basketball season. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2010 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind.
“The level of talent is exceptional across all teams, conferences and classes, which further underscores just how many candidates have a legitimate chance to win this award,” said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. “We are looking forward to the start of the season and to see who will end the year as the winner of the Naismith Trophy.”
Since 2005, presenting sponsor AT&T has set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining the trophy 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. In February, during CBS’ coverage of college basketball, the “AT&T at the Half” segment will feature a Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention for the award.
In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the Top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists.
BIG 12 MEN'S BASKETBALL ON THE 2009-10 NAISMITH TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST
Cole Aldrich, Kansas
James Anderson, Oklahoma State
Craig Brackins, Iowa State
Avery Bradley, Texas
Sherron Collins, Kansas
Xavier Henry, Kansas
Damion James, Texas
Willie Warren, Oklahoma