Kansas Junior Sherron Collins Named Naismith Trophy Mid-Season Candidate

Feb. 24, 2009

ATLANTA – Kansas junior guard Sherron Collins was named a Naismith Trophy Mid-Season candidate the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.

Named after Kansas’ first men’s basketball coach and the inventor of the game, James Naismith, Collins is listed as one of 30 mid-season candidates, including three players from the Big 12 Conference. League members joining Collins include Texas guard A.J. Abrams and Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin. All will be vying for the 2009 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T. North Carolina senior Tyler Hansbrough is looking to win the honor for the second straight year.

Collins has been outstanding for the Big 12’s first-place team. The Chicago native leads Kansas (23-5, 12-1) in scoring with 18.3 points per game and is averaging 23.3 in his last three contests. On Monday, Collins tied his career high with 26 points in KU’s 87-78 win at No. 3 Oklahoma.

This is the third postseason list Collins has been a part of. Earlier this year he was named one of 15 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award for the nation’s top point guard. He was also named a Wooden Award Mid-Season candidate.

The Naismith Trophy top 30 men’s list was voted on 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 vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the men’s college basketball player of the year. This year, the award will be presented at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Detroit.

This season marks the 40th anniversary of the first Naismith Trophy, which was presented to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, who is known today as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At the time, the Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 basketball season, was looking to create a national identity for its brand and created the award to honor the best basketball player in the nation. Alcindor, along with UCLA head coach John Wooden, flew to Atlanta in the spring of 1969 to receive the trophy.

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 percent of the final results — more than any other national college basketball award. This year, beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers — and sports fans on other wireless networks — will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice.

Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 4, 2009. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate.

CBS Sports’ “AT&T at the Half” features a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch, highlighting the men’s players in contention for the coveted award who have distinguished themselves throughout the season. On March 22, CBS will announce the four Naismith Trophy finalists during its first-round coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.

2009 Naismith Men’s Mid-Season Candidates

A.J. Abrams (Sr., Guard, Texas)

Jeff Adrien (Sr., Forward, Connecticut)

DeJuan Blair (So., Center, Pittsburgh)

Trevor Booker (Jr., Forward/Center, Clemson)

Jon Brockman (Sr., Forward, Washington)

Nick Calathes (So., Guard/Forward, Florida)

Dionte Christmas (Sr., Guard, Temple)

Earl Clark (Jr., Guard/Forward, Louisville)

Sherron Collins (Jr., Guard, Kansas)

Stephen Curry (Jr., Guard, Davidson)

Devan Downey (Jr., Guard, South Carolina)

Blake Griffin (So., Forward, Oklahoma)

Tyler Hansbrough (Sr., Forward, North Carolina)

Luke Harangody (Jr., Forward, Notre Dame)

James Harden (So., Guard, Arizona State)

Gerald Henderson (Sr., Forward, Duke)

Robbie Hummel (So., Guard/Forward, Purdue)

James Johnson (So., Forward, Wake Forest)

Ty Lawson (Jr., Guard, North Carolina)

Eric Maynor (Sr., Guard, Virginia Commonwealth)

Jack McClinton (Sr., Guard, Miami)

Jerel McNeal (Sr., Guard, Marquette)

Jodie Meeks (Jr., Guard, Kentucky)

Patrick Mills (So., Guard, Saint Mary’s)

Tyrese Rice (Sr., Guard, Boston College)

Kyle Singler (So., Forward, Duke)

Jeff Teague (So., Guard, Wake Forest)

Hasheem Thabeet (Jr., Center, Connecticut)

Terrance Williams (Sr., Forward, Louisville)

Sam Young (Sr., Forward, Pittsburgh)