Thursday, October 25, 2007

Three Bruins Listed As Naismith Trophy Preseason Candidates

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

Bruin lettermen, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Darren Collison, and Josh Shipp were named on the preseason candidate watch list for the 2007-08 Naismith Trophy. The prestigious national award is presented annually to college basketball's players of the year.

UCLA's Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was the inaugural winner in 1969. Other Bruin winners include: Bill Walton, who won the award three consecutive years from 1972 to 1974, and Marques Johnson in 1977.

Pac-10 schools had the most representatives on the list with twelve players from seven programs. The ACC had the second most candidates with seven players.

The watch list is compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which bases its criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2007-08 season. The list does not include incoming freshmen, although those players will be considered in the first vote in January.

"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."

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. In April, the Naismith Trophy winner will be recognized at the NCAA Men's Final Four in San Antonio.



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