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Wednesday, Nov. 10

Preseason candidates for Naismith Trophy chosen

Illinois' Deron Williams and Dee Brown among top 50

Cingular Wireless adds fan voting to college basketball's top honor

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[NOV. 10, 2004]  ATLANTA, Ga. -- Fifty of the country's top collegiate men's basketball players have been named as preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless. The Atlanta Tipoff Club made the announcement on Friday. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the men's and women's players of the year.

The top-50 list was compiled 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 preseason criteria on player performances from last season.

"The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious honor in college basketball," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "Any of our preseason candidates are worthy of this honor, and we look forward to an exciting year to see who will raise the Naismith in April."

As part of Cingular's involvement, the company is making this year's selection process unique. Through the power and ease of wireless text messaging, college basketball fans nationwide will have a voice for the first time in deciding who wins the Naismith Trophy.

"Cingular is proud to continue its support of college athletics and the student athletes who participate and excel," said Daryl Evans, vice president of advertising and marketing for Cingular Wireless. "The Naismith Trophy is one of the highest honors in all of sports, and we are excited to partner with the Atlanta Tipoff Club and college basketball fans nationwide to help recognize the most outstanding player in college basketball."

In January, the Board of Selectors will narrow its preseason list to the top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March. Beginning in mid-February, CBS' "Cingular at the Half" will feature a weekly "Naismith Trophy Watch," highlighting the players in contention. The player of the year will be recognized at the NCAA men's Final Four in April.

The preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Player, height, class, position, school

  • Hassan Adams, 6'4", junior, guard, Arizona

  • Sean Banks, 6'8", sophomore, forward, Memphis

  • Brandon Bass, 6'8", sophomore, forward, Louisiana State

  • Andrew Bogut, 7'0", sophomore, forward-center, Utah

  • Kevin Bookout, 6'8", junior, forward, Oklahoma

  • Dee Brown, 6'0", junior, guard, Illinois

  • Taylor Coppenrath, 6'9", senior, forward, Vermont

  • Paul Davis, 6'11", junior, center, Michigan State

  • Travis Diener, 6'1", senior, guard, Marquette

  • Ike Diogu, 6'8", junior, forward-center, Arizona State

  • B.J. Elder, 6'4", senior, guard-forward, Georgia Tech

  • Daniel Ewing, 6'3", senior, guard, Duke

  • Raymond Felton, 6'0", junior, guard, North Carolina

  • Torin Francis, 6'11", junior, forward-center, Notre Dame

  • Channing Frye, 6'11", senior, center, Arizona

  • Francisco Garcia, 6'7", junior, forward, Louisville

  • John Gilchrist, 6'3", junior, guard, Maryland

  • Ryan Gomes, 6'7", senior, forward, Providence

  • Joey Graham, 6'7", senior, forward, Oklahoma State

  • Justin Gray, 6'2", junior, guard, Wake Forest

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  • Chuck Hayes, 6'6", senior, forward, Kentucky,

  • Julius Hodge, 6'6", senior, guard, North Carolina State

  • Jarrett Jack, 6'3", junior, guard, Georgia Tech

  • Carl Krauser, 6'2", junior, guard, Pittsburgh

  • Keith Langford, 6'4", senior, forward, Kansas

  • David Lee, 6'9", senior, forward, Florida

  • John Lucas Jr., 5'11", senior, guard, Oklahoma State

  • Jason Maxiell, 6'7", senior, forward, Cincinnati

  • Sean May, 6'9", junior, forward-center, North Carolina

  • Rashad McCants, 6'3", junior, forward, North Carolina

  • Gerry McNamara, 6'2", junior, guard, Syracuse

  • Chris Paul, 6'0", sophomore, guard, Wake Forest

  • J.J. Redick, 6'4", junior, guard, Duke

  • Anthony Roberson, 6'2", junior, guard, Florida

  • Lawrence Roberts, 6'9", senior, forward, Mississippi State

  • Nate Robinson, 5'9", junior, guard, Washington

  • Luke Schenscher, 7'1", senior, center, Georgia Tech

  • Mustafa Shakur, 6'3", sophomore, guard, Arizona

  • Wayne Simien, 6'9", senior, forward, Kansas

  • Salim Stoudamire, 6'1", senior, guard, Arizona

  • Chris Thomas, 6'1", senior, guard, Notre Dame

  • Ronny Turiaf, 6'10", senior, forward, Gonzaga

  • Charlie Villanueva, 6'11", sophomore, forward, Connecticut

  • Matt Walsh, 6'6", junior, guard-forward, Florida

  • Hakim Warrick, 6'9", senior, forward, Syracuse

  • Deron Williams, 6'3", junior, guard, Illinois

  • Shelden Williams, 6'9", junior, forward, Duke

  • Kennedy Winston, 6'6", junior, forward, Alabama

  • Curtis Withers, 6'8", junior, forward, Charlotte

  • Bracey Wright, 6'3", junior, guard, Indiana

Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient was Saint Joseph's University guard Jameer Nelson. Other notable men's college player of the year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Christian Laettner.

For more information, visit http://www.naismithawards.com/.

About the Atlanta Tipoff Club

The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The club has presented the Naismith Trophy since Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969.

[News release from the Atlanta Tipoff Club]

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