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.
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:
|2017||Frank Mason III||Kansas|
|2010||Evan Turner||Ohio State|
|2008||Tyler Hansbrough||North Carolina|
|2004||Jameer Nelson||St. Joseph's|
|1998||Antawn Jamison||North Carolina|
|1997||Tim Duncan||Wake Forest|