Oct. 29, 2009
ATLANTA, Ga. - University of Washington guard Isaiah Thomas has been listed as one of 12 sophomores listed among the top 50 players in the nation on the Naismith Award 2009-10 preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
Last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Thomas leads a talented Washington team that is coming off its first Pac-10 title in school history. The Tacoma, Wash. native is an integral part of the Husky backcourt that has been listed by some experts as the best group of guards in college basketball.
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 2009-10 college basketball season. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2010 NCAA Men's Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind.
"The level of talent is exceptional across all teams, conferences and classes, which further underscores just how many candidates have a legitimate chance to win this award," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "We are looking forward to the start of the season and to see who will end the year as the winner of the Naismith Trophy, the most prestigious award in college basketball."
Since 2005, presenting sponsor AT&T has set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining the trophy winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25% of the final results - more than any other national college basketball award. In February, during CBS' coverage of college basketball, the "AT&T at the Half" segment will feature a Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention for the award.
"AT&T congratulates these athletes for their exceptional career performances, and we're eager to see which player lands this esteemed award," said Tim McGhee, executive director, AT&T corporate sponsorships. "We know college basketball fans are passionate about the game, and through our text message voting program, we're giving them the opportunity to help determine this year's award recipient."
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, David Robinson and last year's winner, Griffin. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's player of the year.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, 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, founded in 1956, has presented the Naismith Trophy since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969.
The Naismith Award has become an emblem of excellence for the game, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.
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