Villanova’s Jalen Brunson has been named the 2018 Citizen Naismith Player of the Year. Brunson is the first Villanova basketball player, man or woman, to win the award in the 50-year history of the men’s award and the 36-year history of the women’s award. 

Brunson, a junior, had far and away his best season as a Villanova Wildcat during the 2017-18 campaign. Brunson averaged 19.2 points, 4.6 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting 52.7 percent from the floor, 41.4 percent on three pointers, and 81.1 percent on free throws. 

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His 61.1 percent eFG% was a career high while increasing his usage in Villanova’s offense, a unit which ranked first in the country in offensive efficiency according to KenPom.com.

Brunson was selected over Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton, Duke’s Marvin Bagley III, and Kansas’s Devonte Graham, the other three finalists for the award.

Here’s a complete list of the last 20 men’s Naismith Player of the Year winners:

Year Player School
2018 Jalen Brunson Villanova
2017 Frank Mason III Kansas
2016 Buddy Hield Oklahoma
2015 Frank Kaminsky Wisconsin
2014 Doug McDermott Creighton
2013 Trey Burke Michigan
2012 Anthony Davis Kentucky
2011 Jimmer Fredette BYU
2010 Evan Turner Ohio State
2009 Blake Griffin Oklahoma
2008 Tyler Hansbrough North Carolina
2007 Kevin Durant Texas
2006 J.J. Redick Duke
2005 Andrew Bogut Utah
2004 Jameer Nelson St. Joseph's
2003 T.J. Ford Texas
2002 Jason Williams Duke
2001 Shane Battier Duke
2000 Kenyon Martin Cincinnati
1999 Elton Brand Duke
1998 Antawn Jamison North Carolina
1997 Tim Duncan Wake Forest
1996 Marcus Camby Massachusetts
1995 Joe Smith Maryland
1994 Glenn Robinson Purdue

Adam Hermann has written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia magazine, SB Nation, and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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