Withers named a Naismith finalist

More good pub today for Mr. Withers and the Niners, Withers Named Candidate for Naismith National Player of the Year Trophy. If any of you have Cingular service, VOTE!

Naismith Trophy Presented by Cingular Wireless Names Pre-Season Candidates
Cingular Wireless Adds Fan Voting to College Basketballโ€™s Top Honor

ATLANTA (Nov. 5, 2004) โ€“ Fifty of the countryโ€™s top collegiate menโ€™s basketball players were named as pre-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the menโ€™s and womenโ€™s players of the year.

The Top 50 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Clubโ€™s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its pre-season criteria on player performances from last season.

โ€œThe Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious honor in college basketball,โ€ said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. โ€œAny of our pre-season candidates are worthy of this honor and we look forward to an exciting year to see who will raise the Naismith in April.โ€

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

โ€œCingular is proud to continue its support of college athletics and the student athletes who participate and excel,โ€ said Daryl Evans, vice president of advertising and marketing for Cingular Wireless. โ€œThe Naismith Trophy is one of the highest honors in all of sports and we are excited to partner with the Atlanta Tipoff Club and college basketball fans nationwide to help recognize the most outstanding player in college basketball.โ€

In January, the Board of Selectors will narrow its pre-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. Beginning in mid-February, CBSโ€™ โ€œCingular at the Halfโ€ will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch highlighting the players in contention. The player of the year will be recognized at the NCAA Menโ€™s Final Four in April.

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

Hassan Adams 6โ€™4โ€ Jr. Guard Arizona
Sean Banks 6โ€™8โ€ So. Forward Memphis
Brandon Bass 6โ€™8โ€ So. Forward Louisiana State
Andrew Bogut 7โ€™0โ€ So. Forward/Center Utah
Kevin Bookout 6โ€™8โ€ Jr. Forward Oklahoma
Dee Brown 6โ€™0โ€ Jr. Guard Illinois
Taylor Coppenrath 6โ€™9โ€ Sr. Forward Vermont
Paul Davis 6โ€™11โ€ Jr. Center Michigan State
Travis Diener 6โ€™1โ€ Sr. Guard Marquette
Ike Diogu 6โ€™8โ€ Jr. Forward/Center Arizona State
B.J. Elder 6โ€™4โ€ Sr. Guard/Forward Georgia Tech
Daniel Ewing 6โ€™3โ€ Sr. Guard Duke
Raymond Felton 6โ€™0โ€ Jr. Guard North Carolina
Torin Francis 6โ€™11โ€ Jr. Forward/Center Notre Dame
Channing Frye 6โ€™11โ€ Sr. Center Arizona
Francisco Garcia 6โ€™7โ€ Jr. Forward Louisville
John Gilchrist 6โ€™3โ€ Jr. Guard Maryland
Ryan Gomes 6โ€™7โ€ Sr. Forward Providence
Joey Graham 6โ€™7โ€ Sr. Forward Oklahoma State
Justin Gray 6โ€™2โ€ Jr. Guard Wake Forest
Chuck Hayes 6โ€™6โ€ Sr. Forward Kentucky
Julius Hodge 6โ€™6โ€ Sr. Guard North Carolina State
Jarrett Jack 6โ€™3โ€ Jr. Guard Georgia Tech
Carl Krauser 6โ€™2โ€ Jr. Guard Pittsburgh
Keith Langford 6โ€™4โ€ Sr. Forward Kansas
David Lee 6โ€™9โ€ Sr. Forward Florida
John Lucas Jr. 5โ€™11โ€ Sr. Guard Oklahoma State
Sean May 6โ€™9โ€ Jr. Forward/Center North Carolina
Jason Maxiell 6โ€™7โ€ Sr. Forward Cincinnati
Rashad McCants 6โ€™3โ€ Jr. Forward North Carolina
Gerry McNamara 6โ€™2โ€ Jr. Guard Syracuse
Chris Paul 6โ€™0โ€ So. Guard Wake Forest
J.J. Redick 6โ€™4โ€ Jr. Guard Duke
Anthony Roberson 6โ€™2โ€ Jr. Guard Florida
Lawrence Roberts 6โ€™9โ€ Sr. Forward Mississippi State
Nate Robinson 5โ€™9โ€ Jr. Guard Washington
Luke Schenscher 7โ€™1โ€ Sr. Center Georgia Tech
Mustafa Shakur 6โ€™3โ€ So. Guard Arizona
Wayne Simien 6โ€™9โ€ Sr. Forward Kansas
Salim Stoudamire 6โ€™1โ€ Sr. Guard Arizona
Chris Thomas 6โ€™1โ€ Sr. Guard Notre Dame
Ronny Turiaf 6โ€™10โ€ Sr. Forward Gonzaga
Charlie Villanueva 6โ€™11โ€ So. Forward Connecticut
Matt Walsh 6โ€™6โ€ Jr. Guard/Forward Florida
Hakim Warrick 6โ€™9โ€ Sr. Forward Syracuse
Deron Williams 6โ€™3โ€ Jr. Guard Illinois
Shelden Williams 6โ€™9โ€ Jr. Forward Duke
Kennedy Winston 6โ€™6โ€ Jr. Forward Alabama
Curtis Withers 6โ€™8โ€ Jr. Forward Charlotte
Bracey Wright 6โ€™3โ€ Jr. Guard Indiana

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

Naismith Awards site