Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller were both named among 30 candidates for the season-ending Naismith Player of the Year Award on Tuesday. Here’s the official release:
ATLANTA – Indiana junior Victor Oladipo and sophomore Cody Zeller headline the list of top 30 candidates for the 2013 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year award, presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced on Tuesday, Feb. 26. A win for one of the two Hoosiers, who have been highly ranked all season, would be the first in 20 years for Indiana, since Calbert Cheaney last took home the honor in 1993. Prior to Cheaney, Scott May won the award in 1976.
Kansas (Ben McLemore, Jeff Withey) and Duke (Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee) join Indiana with two candidates each on the top 30 list. Creighton Junior Doug McDermott, a 2012 Naismith Trophy finalist, is once again among the elite players in the race to be named the best player in men’s college basketball.
The top 30 candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances to this point in the 2013 men’s college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the list to four finalists. The Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 7, 2013 in Atlanta.
For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting will open to fans on Monday, March 25. Naismith Trophy presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate.
“This season has re-defined excellence on the court, as numerous talented players have put themselves in a position to win the prestigious Naismith Trophy,” said Shane Battier, spokesperson for the Naismith Awards and the only men’s player to win both a high school (1997) and college (2001) Naismith Trophy. “I am excited to see which of these great players emerges down the stretch to win this award and become the newest member of the Naismith Awards family.”
“For nearly a decade, AT&T has helped honor college basketball’s elite and their amazing performances on the court,” said Jamie Kerr, Director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. “AT&T enables fans to play a central role in the selection process while bringing them closer to their passion for college basketball. With such a competitive pool of student-athletes, next month’s voting is sure to be close.”
Other notable Naismith Trophy alumni include a pair of three-time winners in Bill Walton (1972, 73, 74) and Ralph Sampson (181, 82, 83), Michael Jordan (1984), Kevin Durant (2007) and last year’s winner, Anthony Davis of Kentucky. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s best player.
For more information, visit naismithawards.com.
Top 30 Candidates for 2013 Naismith Men’s Player of the Year Award
Anthony Bennett, UNLV
Jared Berggren, Wisconsin
Trey Burke, Michigan
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
Ian Clark, Belmont
Rotnei Clarke, Butler
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame
Allen Crabbe, California
Seth Curry, Duke
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s
Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati
Shane Larkin, Miami
Doug McDermott, Creighton
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State
Ben McLemore, Kansas
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
Mike Muscala, Bucknell
Victor Oladipo, Indiana
Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga
Brandon Paul, Illinois
Mason Plumlee, Duke
Otto Porter, Jr., Georgetown
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Russ Smith, Louisville
DeShaun Thomas, Ohio State
Jeff Withey, Kansas
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
Cody Zeller, Indiana