Kansas' Thomas Robinson Named Naismith Men's College Basketball Player of the Year Finalist

March 19, 2012

ATLANTA, Ga. – Kansas junior Thomas Robinson has been named one of four finalists for the Naismith Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday.

The other three finalists for the award are Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis, Michigan State senior Draymond Green and Creighton sophomore Doug McDermott.

The Big 12 Player of the Year, Robinson leads the nation with 25 double-doubles in 2011-12, which ties for the Kansas single-season record set by Drew Gooden in 2002. The Washington, D.C., native, Robinson is the only player in the Big 12 to average a double-double with 17.7 points and 11.8 rebounds. A certain consensus All-American first-team selection and four-time Big 12 Player of the Week this season, Robinson’s 11.8 boards per game are second nationally.

Kansas’ Danny Manning was the recipient of the Naismith Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year in 1988. Robinson is the first Jayhawk to be named a Naismith finalist since Sherron Collins in 2010.

“We have four tremendous candidates, all with unique and interesting storylines, vying for this prestigious award,” said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “We wish all the finalists the best of luck throughout the tournament and we look forward to recognizing the winner in New Orleans.”

Beginning March 19, AT&T wireless customers – and sports fans on other wireless networks – will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice by texting VOTE to 34763. Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 31, 2012. For the eighth consecutive year, AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. Standard messaging rates apply.

The finalists were voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s National Voting Academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The academy 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 winner will be announced at the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Guardians of the Game award program April 1 during the Final Four in New Orleans.

“With the variety of talent these finalists have shown, we know this will be a close race,” said Jamie Kerr, Director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. “We at AT&T are looking forward to the results as college basketball fans vote for their favorite finalist to be named this year’s Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year.”

For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.

Robinson’s accolades for 2011-12

-Naismith Trophy Finalist

-NABC All-District 8 First Team

-CBSSports.com First Team All-American

-USBWA First Team All-American

-John R. Wooden Award Finalist

-USBWA District VI Player of the Year

-USBWA All-District VI

-Dick Vitale’s All-Solid Gold First Team

-ESPN.com National Player of the Year

-ESPN.com First Team All-American

-Sporting News First Team All-American

-Big 12 Player of the Year (Big 12 & AP)

-All-Big 12 First Team (Big 12 & AP)

-Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Midseason Watch List

-Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week (2/27)

-Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List

-John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Candidate

-Dick Vitale’s No. 1 Midseason National Player of the Year (1/4)

-Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week (1/2)

-Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week by the USBWA (12/11)

-Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week (12/12)

-Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week (11/28)

-EA SPORTS Maui Invitational All-Tournament Team