basketball-men-d1 flag

Atlanta Tipoff Club | November 19, 2020

Naismith men's college basketball Player of the Year Top 50 watchlist released for 2020-21 season

The top 10 most important NBA Draft withdrawals returning for 2020-21

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Watch List, which includes the 2020 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy winner, Cade Cunningham, now a freshman at Oklahoma State University, the 2020 Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year winner, Marcus Garrett from Kansas, and Iowa’s Luka Garza, who was a finalist for the 2020 Men’s Player of the Year honor. Gonzaga leads the 50-player watch list with four players included on the list, followed by Duke, which has won more Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophies (8) than any other school. Seven schools have two players represented include Baylor, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, North Carolina, Stanford and Villanova. Overall, the ACC and Big Ten top the list, each with eight players represented, while the Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC are close runners-up with six candidates on the watch list.

NEXT STARS: 36 breakout candidates for the 2020-21 men's basketball All-American teams

“The beginning of the season is filled with excitement, optimism and anticipation as each team and every player is undefeated, making the race for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy wide open. While these 50 candidates are those to keep an eye on, there will be plenty of others who will enter the competition throughout the season,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “This year will be especially exciting as players who were unable to finish their seasons last year have even more to prove.”

A list of the midseason 30 team will be released in early February, followed by the 10 national semifinalists and four finalists on March 4, 2021, and March 16, 2021, respectively. Players who do not make the watch list are still eligible to be selected for the midseason 30 team. The 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy will be awarded during the Final Four at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 4, 2021.

BEST OF THE BEST: 10 Player of the Year contenders for the 2020-2021 college basketball season

“As we sponsor the collegiate honor for the first year, Jersey Mike’s is excited to partner with the Naismith Trophy,” said Rich Hope, chief marketing officer, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “We look forward to following these stellar athletes throughout the season and honoring one of these talented players as the winner of the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy.”

2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Men’s Preseason Watch List

Joel Ayayi Jr. G Gonzaga WCC
Scottie Barnes Fr. G Florida State ACC
Charles Bassey Jr. C Western Kentucky C-USA
B.J. Boston Fr. F Kentucky SEC
James Bouknight So. G UConn BIG EAST
Garrison Brooks Sr. F North Carolina ACC
Greg Brown Fr. F Texas Big 12
Jared Butler Jr. G Baylor Big 12
Marcus Carr Jr. G Minnesota Big Ten
Terrence Clarke Fr. G Kentucky SEC
Kofi Cockburn So. C Illinois Big Ten
Jalen Crutcher Sr. G Dayton A-10
Cade Cunningham Fr. G Oklahoma State Big 12
Oscar da Silva Sr. F Stanford Pac-12
Ayo Dosunmu Jr. G Illinois Big Ten
Marcus Garrett Sr. G Kansas Big 12
Luka Garza Sr. C Iowa Big Ten
Collin Gillespie Sr. G Villanova BIG EAST
Kellan Grady Sr. G Davidson A-10
A.J. Green Jr. G Northern Iowa MVC
Sam Hauser Sr. F Virginia ACC
Aaron Henry Jr. F Michigan State Big Ten
Matthew Hurt So. F Duke ACC
Trayce Jackson-Davis So. F Indiana Big Ten
Jalen Johnson Fr. F Duke ACC
Keyontae Johnson Jr. F Florida SEC
David Johnson So. G Louisville ACC
Corey Kispert Sr. F Gonzaga WCC
Isaiah Livers Sr. F Michigan Big Ten
Caleb Love Fr. G North Carolina ACC
Sandro Mamukelashvili Sr. F Seton Hall BIG EAST
Remy Martin Sr. G Arizona State Pac-12
Caleb Mills So. G Houston AAC
Evan Mobley Fr. F USC Pac-12
Wendell Moore Jr. So. F Duke ACC
Yves Pons Sr. G Tennessee SEC
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl So. F Villanova BIG EAST
Colbey Ross Sr. G Pepperdine WCC
Fatts Russell Sr. G Rhode Island A-10
Javonte Smart Jr. G LSU SEC
Chris Smith Sr. G UCLA Pac-12
Jalen Suggs Fr. G Gonzaga WCC
MaCio Teague Sr. G Baylor Big 12
Drew Timme So. F Gonzaga WCC
Oscar Tshiebwe So. F West Virginia Big 12
Trendon Watford So. F LSU SEC
Trevion Williams Jr. F Purdue Big Ten
Ziaire Williams Fr. F Stanford Pac-12
McKinley Wright IV Sr. G Colorado Pac-12
Marcus Zegarowski Jr. G Creighton BIG EAST


Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.

The 6 college softball teams with the most national championships

Here are the schools with the most NCAA softball championships, led by the UCLA Bruins.

3 burning college baseball questions to be answered in the season's last month

Much is left to learn from the 2023 season, but here are three questions that need to be answered in this final month.

Dream matches that could happen at the 2023 U.S. Open wrestling qualifier

Here are nine of the biggest potential names and matches for college wrestling fans to look for this weekend at this major qualifying event across men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and men’s Greco events this weekend.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners