Ike Diogu Named A Naismith Award Top-30 Candidate.

Feb. 8, 2005

ATLANTA (Feb. 8, 2005) - Arizona State's Ike Diogu is one of thirty of the country's top collegiate men's basketball players who were named as mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the men's and women's players of the year.

The Top 30 list was compiled 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 list was narrowed down from the pre-season list of 50 candidates who were announced at the beginning of the season.

'This basketball season has been among the most exciting and unpredictable in recent years,' said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. 'It's a result of these players rising to the occasion when it's most important and the one player who distinguishes himself above all others will raise the Naismith Trophy in April.'

As part of its involvement, Cingular is making this year's selection process unique. For the first time, college basketball fans have a voice in deciding who wins the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless through the power and ease of wireless text messaging.

'The Naismith Trophy symbolizes the best player in the country and all of these candidates are worthy of that honor,' said Marc Lefar, Chief Marketing Officer for Cingular. 'We are excited that our involvement will enable college basketball fans nationwide to have their say in who will be this year's winner.'

Beginning February 12, CBS' 'Cingular at the Half' will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch highlighting the players in contention. These players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March when four finalists for the award are announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors.

The mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Andrew Bogut, 7-0, So., F/C, UtahJosh Boone, 6-10, So., F/C, ConnecticutDee Brown, 6-0, Jr., G, IllinoisTaylor Coppenrath, 6-9, Sr., F, VermontTravis Diener, 6-1, Sr., G, MarquetteIke Diogu, 6-8, Jr., F, Arizona StateRaymond Felton, 6-1, Jr., G, North CarolinaChanning Frye, 6-11, Sr. C, ArizonaFrancisco Garcia, 6-7, Jr., F, LouisvilleRyan Gomes, 6-7, Sr., F, ProvidenceJoey Graham, 6-7, Sr., F, Oklahoma StateLuther Head, 6-3, Sr., G, IllinoisJulius Hodge, 6-6, Sr., G, North Carolina StateJarrett Jack, 6-3, Jr., G, Georgia TechJohn Lucas, 5-11, Sr., G, Oklahoma StateSean May, 6-9, Jr., F/C, North CarolinaRashad McCants, 6-4, Jr., G/F, North CarolinaGerry McNamara, 6-2, Jr., G, SyracuseChris Paul, 6-0, So., G, Wake ForestJ.J. Redick, 6-4, Jr., G, DukeLawrence Roberts, 6-9, Sr., F, Mississippi StateNate Robinson, 5-9, Jr., G, WashingtonWayne Simien, 6-9, Sr., F, KansasCraig Smith, 6-7, Jr., F, Boston CollegeSalim Stoudamire, 6-1, Sr., G, ArizonaRonny Turiaf, F, 6-10, Sr., F, GonzagaHakim Warrick, F, 6-9, Sr., SyracuseDeron Williams, G, 6-3, Jr., IllinoisShelden Williams, F, 6-9, Jr., DukeKennedy Winston, F, 6-6, Jr., Alabama

Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient was Saint Joseph's University guard Jameer Nelson. Other notable men's college player of the year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Christian Laettner.

For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.

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 has presented the Naismith Trophy since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969.

The Naismith Awards program has become an emblem of excellence for the game, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Player of the Year, Men's and Women's Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and overall contribution to the game.

ABOUT CINGULAR WIRELESS: Cingular Wireless is the largest wireless carrier in the United States, serving more than 49 million customers. Cingular, a joint venture between SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) and BellSouth Corporation (NYSE: BLS), has the largest digital voice and data network in the nation - the ALLOVER? network - and the largest mobile-to-mobile community of any national wireless carrier. Cingular is the only U.S. wireless carrier to offer Rollover?, the wireless plan that lets customers keep their unused monthly minutes. Details of the company are available at www.cingular.com. Get Cingular Wireless press releases e-mailed to you automatically. Sign up at www.cingular.com/newsroom .

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