Kansas trio named to Naismith Trophy preseason watch list

Link Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List

ATLANTA Kansas men’s basketball senior Frank Mason III, junior Devonte’ Graham and freshman Josh Jackson have been named to the Naismith Trophy Men’s College Player of the Year Preseason Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club released Thursday.

A total of 50 student-athletes were named to the list and Kansas tied for the most from one school. Joining the Jayhawks were Duke, Kentucky and Wisconsin who also had three.

Mason and Graham are two of three returning starters for Kansas in 2016-17, while Jackson was the No. 1 recruit coming out of high school in 2016.

Mason, from Petersburg, Virginia, garnered All-Big 12 Second Team honors for the second-straight season last year and was also named to the 2016 the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. He is Kansas’ leading returning scorer at 12.9 points per game, which ranked 12th in the Big 12 and is the second-highest returning scorer in the league for 2016-17. He led KU in assists at 4.6, which was fourth in the conference.

From Raleigh, North Carolina, Graham was a 2016 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection and joined Mason on the five-person the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Graham averaged 11.3 points per game and was the team leader in steals with 1.4 per contest. His points ranked 19th in the conference and his steal average was 10th. Additionally, Graham was sixth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.2 and third in 3-point field goal percentage at 44.1 percent.
Graham was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2016 Big 12 Championship where he averaged 17.3 points and 6.3 assists in leading Kansas to the title. He was also a member of the NCAA Tournament All-South Region Team as KU advanced to the Elite Eight.

A 2016 McDonald’s All-American, Jackson grew up in Detroit and spent his final two seasons of high school at Prolific Prep in Napa, California. He averaged 26.9 points, 13.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game at Prolific Prep in 2015-16 and 31.2 points, 17.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.3 steals in 2014-15. Prior to going to Prolific Prep, Jackson led Detroit Consortium to the Class C state title his sophomore year in 2013-14.

Jackson was tabbed the 2016-17 Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year, while Graham and Mason were Preseason All-Big 12 picks.

A mid-season list of 30 candidates for the Naismith Trophy Men’s College Player of the Year will be released in early February.

No. 3/2 Kansas opens the 2016-17 season when it plays No. 11/12 Indiana, Friday, Nov. 11, in the State Farm Armed Forces Classic in Honolulu. The contest is slated to start at 8 p.m. Central time and will be televised on ESPN.

Naismith Trophy Men’s College Player of the Year Preseason Watch List
Edrice (Bam) Adebayo, Kentucky
Grayson Allen, Duke
Jarrett Allen, Texas
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
V.J. Beachem, Notre Dame
Joel Berry II, North Carolina
James Blackmon Jr., Indiana
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
Chris Boucher, Oregon
Miles Bridges, Michigan State
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
Thomas Bryant, Indiana
Troy Caupain, Cincinnati
Tyler Davis, Texas A&M
Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State
De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
Markelle Fultz, Washington
Jack Gibbs, Davidson
Harry Giles, Duke
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
Josh Hart, Villanova
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
Malcolm Hill, Illinois
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Kris Jenkins, Villanova
Peter Jok, Iowa
Moses Kingsley, Arkansas
Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin
Dedric Lawson, Memphis
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island
Malik Monk, Kentucky
Monte Morris, Iowa State
Jonathan Motley, Baylor
Austin Nichols, Virginia
London Perrantes, Virginia
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Ivan Rabb, California
Dennis Smith Jr., NC State
Edmond Sumner, Xavier
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Jayson Tatum, Duke
Melo Trimble, Maryland
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga

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