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Naismith Trophy 2009-10 Preseason Watch
List Dominant With Upperclassmen

ATLANTA (Oct. 29, 2009) – The Big XII Conference has claimed two of the last three Naismith Trophies for Men’s College Player of the Year, and has done so with a sophomore (Blake Griffin, Oklahoma, 2009) and a freshman (Kevin Durant, Texas, 2007).  The tide may turn in 2010 as upperclassman claim 33 of the 50 spots in the Naismith 2009-10 preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.  Seniors (19) and juniors (14) lead the way followed by 13 sophomores and four freshmen.

Two conferences – the Big East and Atlantic Coast – placed nine representatives apiece while the Big XII and SEC each had eight.  Big XII member Kansas was represented by three players while six other schools featured two candidates. 

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, the most prestigious award in college basketball.”

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% 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. 

“AT&T congratulates these athletes for their exceptional career performances, and we’re eager to see which player lands this esteemed award,” said Tim McGhee, executive director, AT&T corporate sponsorships. “We know college basketball fans are passionate about the game, and through our text message voting program, we’re giving them the opportunity to help determine this year’s award recipient.”

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. 

Other notable Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and last year’s winner, Griffin. 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.

2009-10 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List:

Last name

First Name

School

Position

Class

Alabi

Solomon

Florida State

Center

Soph.

Aldrich

Cole

Kansas

Center

Junior

Aminu

Al-Farouq

Wake Forest

Forward

Soph.

Anderson

James

Oklahoma State

Guard

Junior

Babbitt

Luke

Nevada

Forward

Soph.

Battle

Talor

Penn State

Guard

Junior

Booker

Trevor

Clemson

Forward

Senior

Bouldin

Matt

Gonzaga

Guard

Senior

Brackins

Craig

Iowa State

Forward

Junior

Bradley

Avery

Texas

Guard

Freshman

Butler

Da'Sean

West Virginia

Forward

Senior

Christopher

Patrick

California

Guard

Senior

Collins

Sherron

Kansas

Guard

Senior

Davis

Ed

North Carolina

Forward

Soph.

Downey

Devan

South Carolina

Guard

Senior

Dyson

Jerome

Connecticut

Guard

Senior

Ebanks

Devin

West Virginia

Forward

Soph.

Favors

Derrick

Georgia Tech

Forward

Freshman

Harangody

Luke

Notre Dame

Forward

Senior

Harris

Manny

Michigan

Guard

Junior

Hayward

Gordon

Butler

Guard/Forward

Soph.

Hayward

Lazar

Marquette

Forward

Senior

Henry

Xavier

Kansas

Guard

Freshman

Hummel

Robbie

Purdue

Forward

Junior

James

Damion

Texas

Guard/Forward

Senior

Jordan

Jerome

Tulsa

Center

Senior

Landesberg

Sylven

Virginia 

Guard

Soph.

Lawal

Gani

Georgia Tech

Forward

Junior

Lucas

Kalin

Michigan State

Guard

Junior

Mitchell

Tasmin

LSU

Forward

Senior

Monroe

Greg

Georgetown

Center

Soph.

Ogilvy

A.J.

Vanderbilt

Center

Junior

Patterson

Patrick

Kentucky

Forward

Junior

Randle

Jerome

California

Guard

Senior

Reynolds

Scottie

Villanova

Guard

Senior

Samuels

Samardo

Louisville

Forward

Soph.

Sanders

Larry

VCU

Forward

Junior

Singler

Kyle

Duke

Forward

Junior

Smith

Tyler

Tennessee

Guard/Forward

Senior

Thomas

Isaiah

Washington

Guard

Soph.

Turner

Evan

Ohio State

Guard/Forward

Junior

Ubiles

Edwin

Siena

Guard/Forward

Senior

Varnado

Jarvis

Mississippi State

Forward

Senior

Vasquez

Greivis

Maryland

Guard

Senior

Walker

Kemba

Connecticut

Guard

Soph.

Wall

John

Kentucky

Guard

Freshman

Warren

Willie

Oklahoma

Guard

Soph.

White

Terrico

Mississippi  

Guard

Soph.

Wise

Nic

Arizona

Guard

Senior

Wright

Chris

Dayton

Forward

Junior

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, founded in 1956, has presented the Naismith Trophy since UCLA’s Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969.  

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

ABOUT AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T │DIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T’s Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.

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