Kansas Senior Sherron Collins Named Finalist for Naismith Trophy

March 21, 2010

ATLANTA – Kansas senior guard Sherron Collins has been named one of four finalists for the 2010 Naismith Trophy as the men’s college player of the year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Sunday. Joining Collins as finalists is Kentucky guard John Wall, Ohio State guard Evan Turner and Syracuse guard Wesley Johnson.

As a presenting sponsor since 2005, AT&T has set the standard in fan participation 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.

Beginning March 21, 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 345345. Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 3, 2010. 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. Standard messaging rates apply. Fans are allowed one vote per 24-hour period.

This season, Collins led Kansas to a 33-3 record, including the Big 12 regular-season and conference postseason championship titles. The Chicago guard led Kansas in scoring at 15.5 points per game, saw Kansas ranked No. 1 for 15 polls and entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed. A two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection as a junior and senior and the 2010 conference tourney MVP, Collins was named to the USBWA All-America First Team last week and has appeared on numerous All-America teams this season. He is also the winningest player in Kansas basketball history amassing 130 victories throughout his career.

“There are so many great players out there, to be selected as one of the top four for this honor is huge,” Collins said. “There is no way I could have made this list without my teammates and coaches. We had a great season that ended on a sour note.”

“It’s an unbelievable honor to be picked in the final four,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “Sherron is very deserving, not only based on what he did this year but over his career. Certainly, our loss to Northern Iowa shouldn’t diminish the year he had and the leader he has been. I’m excited for him and very proud of him.”

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 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is regarded as the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the men’s college basketball player of the year. Collins is the first Jayhawk to be selected as a Naismith Trophy finalist since KU consensus All-American Wayne Simien in 2005. KU legend and current assistant coach Danny Manning won the Naismith Trophy in 1988.

Besides Manning in 1988, other notable men’s college player of the year winners include Ralph Sampson (1981-1983), Larry Bird (1979), Patrick Ewing (1985), Christian Laettner (1992) and last year’s winner, Blake Griffin of Oklahoma.

For more information, visitwww.naismithawards.com.

More notes on Kansas’ Sherron Collins:

–Will graduate from Kansas in May with a degree in African and African American Studies.

–During Collins’ stint, Kansas won four Big 12 regular-season titles, three Big 12 postseason championship titles, advanced to three NCAA Tournament Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights, one Final Four and has won one NCAA National Championship. Of a possible 12 titles (league regular season, league tourney and NCAA Tournament), Collins was a part of Kansas’ eight titles won in the last four years.

–Collins was part of the most wins in a four-year span in Kansas basketball history with 130 victories from 2007-10, which ranks tied for fifth in the NCAA Division I record book.

–While at Kansas, Collins went 21-4 (84 percent) postseason record, which included Big 12 and NCAA Tournament postseason play.

–Collins was named All-Big 12 First Team each of the last two seasons.

–Collins was named USBWA All-America First Team and The Sporting News All-America Second Team. He has been listed on many All-America teams in 2010.

–Collins is one of only two Jayhawks to have recorded 1,800 career points and 500 career assists, joining KU great Darnell Valentine. His 1,888 career points rank fifth on the Kansas scoring list and his 552 career assists rank seventh on the Kansas assists list.

–Collins ranks fourth on the Kansas career three-point field goals made list with 232. His 615 three-pointers attempted are third.

–As a junior in 2009, Collins was consensus second-team All-America selection.

–Including this season, Collins is a two-time Bob Cousy Award finalist for the nation’s top point guard.

–For his career, Collins has been named Big 12 Player of the Week three times.

–As a sophomore, KU’s national championship season, Collins was the recipient of the 2008 Big 12 Sixth Man Award and selected to the Big 12 All-Reserve Team.

–In 2007, Collins was selected to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team and was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.

–Collins had 26 games of 20 or more points while at Kansas, including a 32-point effort against North Dakota State in last year’s NCAA Tournament and a 33-point game in KU’s come-from-behind victory versus Cornell earlier this season. He had 26 points in Kansas’ Big 12 Championship semifinal win against Texas A&M.

Notes on the other Naismith Candidates:

Wes Johnson, Junior Forward: Johnson led Syracuse in both scoring (16.0) and rebounding (8.4) this season and helped pace the Orange to 28 regular-season wins, good enough to win the Big East regular-season title and earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. For his efforts the coaches selected him as the Big East Player of the Year

Evan Turner, Junior Guard: The Big Ten Player of the Year led Ohio State to a share of the regular season championship and the conference tournament championship. He led the conference in both scoring (20.3) and rebounding (9.2), while also averaging 2.0 steals and 5.9 assists per game. He returned from injury to lead the Buckeyes to 27 regular-season wins and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

John Wall, Freshman Guard: Wall was part of a strong freshmen class that led Kentucky to both the SEC regular season and conference tournament championship. The Wildcats earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Wall averaged 16.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game and was named SEC Player of the year. He ended the regular season as Kentucky’s all-time leading freshman scorer and assist leader, the latter category good enough for fifth nationally.