Graham named Naismith Trophy semifinalist
ATLANTA – Kansas senior Devonte’ Graham has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the 50th Citizen Naismith Trophy for men’s college player of the year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday. Graham is vying to become the second straight Jayhawk to win the award as Frank Mason III was the 2017 recipient.
On every national player of year watch list, Graham is the only player in NCAA Division I this season averaging 17.0-plus pts, 7.0-plus assists, 1.7-plus steals and fewer than 3.0 turnovers per game. Graham is seventh nationally, second in the Big 12, in assists per game at 7.2. The Raleigh, North Carolina, guard is scoring 17.7 points per game, which is second in the conference. Graham is third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7), eighth in free throw percentage (82.6), fourth in 3-point field goals made (3.0), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (42.3) and fifth in steals (1.6).
On Monday, Feb. 26, Graham was named the Big 12 Player of the Week for the second time this season after guiding No. 6 Kansas (24-6, 13-4) to two victories that propelled the Jayhawks to their NCAA record 14th consecutive, 18th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 61st regular-season conference title.
This season, Graham is logging 37.4 minutes per game this year, which ranks as the fifth highest average in a single season at KU. His 90 3-pointers made are sixth on the KU season list and his 216 assists are tied for ninth with Aaron Miles (2005).
Historically, in Kansas’ last game Graham became the 15th player in KU history to score 1,600 points. He currently sits 15th with 1,605 points. Graham is the third player in school history to tally 1,600 points, 550 assists and 180 steals in a career. KU All-Americans Darnell Valentine and Kirk Hinrich are the only other Jayhawks to hit those numbers. Graham is second on the KU career 3-point field goals made list, currently at 274, ninth in assists at 555 and ninth in steals at 183.
Four finalists will be selected from this list of 10 by the Naismith Awards master voting academy. Fans will be able to support their favorite finalist by visiting www.naismithtrophy.com/vote from March 19-30 to cast their ballot and help decide the winner. The fan component counts for five percent of the vote. On April 1st, the 50th Citizen Naismith Trophy will be awarded during the Naismith Awards Brunch at Pearl Stable in San Antonio.
Celebrating its 50th year by honoring past winners, the Citizen Naismith Trophy has been presented to 45 unique winners at 31 schools over the last 49 years, starting with its first presentation to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in 1969. Kansas has had two recipients with Danny Manning in 1988 and Mason last year.
2018 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Semifinalists
Deandre Ayton, Arizona (Fr., F)
Marvin Bagley III, Duke (Fr., F)
Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State (Jr., F)
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier (Sr., G)
Miles Bridges, Michigan State (So., G/F)
Jalen Brunson, Villanova (Jr., G)
Keenan Evans, Texas Tech (Sr., G)
DEVONTE’ GRAHAM, KANSAS (Sr., G)
Jock Landale, St. Mary’s (Sr., C)
Trae Young, Oklahoma (Fr., G)
Devonte’ Graham 2017-18 Honors
Citizen Naismith Trophy Semifinalist – 1 of 10 (2.28.18)
Citizen Naismith Trophy Player of the Week (2.26.18)
Big 12 Player of the Week (2.26.18)
Citizen Naismith Trophy Late Season Team – 1 of 30 (2.12.18)
Wooden Award Late Season Top-20 (2.5.18)
Bob Cousy Award Midseason Watch List – 1 of 10 (2.5.18)
USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List (1.22.18)
Lute Olson Award Midseason Watch List (1.11.18)
Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 (1.11.18)
USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Player of the Week (12.5.17)
Lute Olson Award Player of the Week (12.4.17)
NCAA.com Player of the Week (12.4.17)
Big 12 Player of the Week (12.4.17)
Hoophall Miami Invitational MVP
Wooden Award watch list
Naismith Player of the Year watch list
USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list
Bob Cousy Award watch list
Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year
Preseason All-Big 12
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