2008-09 Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List Announced

Dec. 18, 2008

ATLANTA - University of North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough takes aim at becoming just the third repeat winner in the 40-year history of the Naismith Trophy as he headlines the 2008-09 preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. Hansbrough, the third Tar Heel and 16th recipient from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) to win the Naismith Trophy, would join UCLA's Bill Walton (1972, 73, 74) and Virginia's Ralph Sampson (1981, 82, 83) as the only multiple winners of the award, if he repeats again this year. The 6-9 senior from Poplar Bluff, Mo., is joined by teammates Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson on the list.

The Big East Conference placed 11 candidates on the watch list, followed by the ACC with seven. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) placed six, while the Pacific 10 (PAC-10) totaled five.

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

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