2011 Naismith winner Jimmer Fredette
AP Image
NAISMITH AWARD

Since the Atlanta Tipoff Club first gave the Naismith Trophy to Lew Alcindor in 1969, the Trophy has become a mark of excellence.
All-time Naismith winners
• More: www.naismithawards.com

With 10 players from four different universities, the Southeastern Conference leads the 2011-12 Naismith preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday. This year’s list includes the top men’s college basketball players from 34 schools around the country.

The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012 college basketball season. The Naismith Trophy will be awarded at the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four in New Orleans.

Two teams -- Kentucky and North Carolina -- boast four players each on the list, while three schools -- Connecticut, Ohio State and Vanderbilt -- have three players. The list represents 14 different conferences and features 29 upperclassmen and 22 underclassmen.

“Between conference realignments, rule changes and an incredible amount of talent at the college level this year, the 2012 Naismith Player of the Year is truly anybody’s for the taking,” said Eric Oberman, Atlanta Tipoff Club executive director.

“We’re excited to be a part of such an historic year in college basketball and look forward to crowning the best player in college basketball in April.”

In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists. 

Other notable Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and last year’s winner, Jimmer Fredette. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s player of the year.

2011-12 NAISMITH TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST
Player School Class Pos.   Player School Class Pos.
Tim Abromaitis Notre Dame GS F   Kevin Jones West Virginia Sr F
Harrison Barnes North Carolina So F   Kris Joseph Syracuse Sr F
Will Barton Memphis So G   Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Kentucky Fr F
Bradley Beal Florida Fr G   Jeremy Lamb Connecticut So G
William Buford Ohio State Sr G   Kendall Marshall North Carolina So G
Aaron Craft Ohio State So G   Trevor Mbakwe Minnesota Sr F
Anthony Davis Kentucky Fr F   Ray McCallum Detroit So G
Marcus Denmon Missouri Sr G   Doug McDermott Creighton So F
Andre Drummond Connecticut Fr C   Khris Middleton Texas A&M Jr F
Festus Ezeli Vanderbilt Sr C   Quincy Miller Baylor Fr F
Ashton Gibbs Pitt Sr G   Reeves Nelson UCLA Jr F
Michael Glover Iona Sr F   Andrew Nicholson St. Bonaventure Sr F
Drew Gordon New Mexico Sr F   Alex Oriakhi Connecticut Jr C
Draymond Green Michigan State Sr F   Austin Rivers Duke Fr G
JaMychal Green Alabama Sr F   Thomas Robinson Kansas Jr F
Tim Hardaway Jr. Michigan So G   Terrence Ross Washington So G
Elias Harris Gonzaga Jr F   John Shurna Northwestern Sr F
John Henson North Carolina Jr F   Peyton Siva Louisville Jr G
Tu Holloway Xavier Sr G   Joshua Smith UCLA So C
Robbie Hummel Purdue Sr F   Jared Sullinger Ohio State So C
Joe Jackson Memphis Jr G   Jordan Taylor Wisconsin Sr G
John Jenkins Vanderbilt So G   Jeffery Taylor Vanderbilt Sr G/F
Orlando Johnson UC-Santa Barbara Sr G   Marquis Teague Kentucky Fr G
Darius Johnson-Odom Marquette Sr G   Patric Young Florida So F/C
Perry Jones III Baylor So F   Tyler Zeller North Carolina Sr F
Terrence Jones Kentucky So F