College basketball: Naismith Trophy 10 semifinalists announced
The Atlanta Tipoff Club has announced 10 semifinalists for the 2017 Naismith Trophy. The Big 12 boasts three players on the list. Other conferences represented include the Pac 12, Big Ten, ACC, West Coast and Big East.
Here are the semifinalists for the men's college player of the year:
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
The freshman is averaging 14.8 points, 7.6 assists (which leads the Pac-12) and 6.2 rebounds per game for the Bruins (26-3). The guard scored a season-high 24 points against Arizona on Jan. 21.
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
The redshirt sophomore has made a statement in the Big Ten, helping to lead the Badgers to a 22-7 record. The forward, who won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Award last season, is averaging 14.1 points, three assists and nine rebounds a game. Happ ranks third in rebounding and second in field-goal percentage in the Big Ten.
Josh Hart, Villanova
The senior has helped Villanova (27-3) to another successful season coming off the Wildcats' championships season in 2016. The guard is averaging 18.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and three assists a game.
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
The forward has found his stride in the later half of the season as the Tar Heels vaulted into the Top 10. Jackson, a junior, is averaging 18.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 rebounds a game.
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Jackson is another freshman to make an impact on a talented team. The guard is averaging 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and three assists per game.
Luke Kennard, Duke
The sophomore guard has helped the Blue Devils to a 23-7 record while averaging 19.9 pints, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assits per game. Kennard put up a season-high 35 points in Duke's win against Maine on Dec. 3. He has scored at least 10 points in all but one game. Kennard's scoring average ranks second in the ACC behind Micheal Young of Pitt.
Frank Mason III, Kansas
The senior has been a strong presence for the Jayhawks (27-3), who won their 13th straight regular-season title. The point guard averages 20.3 points a game, which leads the Big 12. Mason set a season-high for scoring with 32 points in Kansas' loss to Iowa State in overtime on Feb. 4.
Johnathan Motley, Baylor
The junior leads the Big 12 in rebounding and has been a threat in the paint for Baylor (24-6). The forward is averaging 17.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. One of Motely's most impressive performances was against Texas when he posted 32 points and 20 rebounds.
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
The sophomore leads the Big Ten in rebounding while coming in second in scoring. Purdue's forward has averaged 18.6 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the 24-6 Boilermakers.
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga
The redshirt junior guard has led Gonzaga to another successful season, with the Bulldogs suffering their only loss of the season against BYU on Saturday. Williams-Goss leads the West Coast conference in free-throw percentage and ranks second in steals. He has averaged 16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.