ATLANTA (March 24, 2013) – The teams that will compete in this year’s NCAA® Men’s Final Four won’t be decided until the end of the upcoming weekend, but already the four finalists for the top individual honor in men’s college basketball have been identified. Michigan sophomore Trey Burke, Creighton junior Doug McDermott, Indiana junior Victor Oladipo and Georgetown sophomore Otto Porter Jr. are the 2013 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year finalists, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. McDermott also was a finalist for the 2012 Trophy.
The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based selections on individual performances throughout the 2013 men’s college basketball regular season. The winner of the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Trophy presented by AT&T will be revealed April 7, 2013 in Atlanta.
For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to vote for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Beginning March 25 through April 6 fans can cast their vote by calling **VOTE (**8683).* Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Trophy presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to customers of other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate.
“These four players have performed at the highest level and have separated themselves appropriately from the other contenders,” said Shane Battier, spokesperson for the Naismith Awards and the only men’s player to win both a high school (1997) and college (2001) Naismith Trophy. “As wide open as the NCAA tournament is, so will the race for the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner, and that’s what makes college basketball so exciting.”
“This season’s talented group of finalists is sure to make this selection a close and memorable one,” said Jamie Kerr, Director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. “We at AT&T look forward to seeing how many college basketball fans take part in this unique opportunity and moreover, which deserving student-athlete they help select as the 2013 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year.”
ABOUT THE FINALISTS: Trey Burke, Sophomore, University of Michigan: The 6-foot point guard averaged 19.2 points and 3.2 rebounds during this year’s regular season, and was named the Big Ten Player of the Year. He scored double figures in every game and 15 or more points in every Big Ten game. He scored less than 15 points in just two games. Burke’s 6.7 assists per game was 11th in the nation.
Doug McDermott, Junior, Creighton University: A 2012 Naismith Trophy finalist, he ranks second nationally in scoring (23.1) and finished the regular season with an average of 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. The Bluejays won both the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles this season. He became the eighth player league history to win back-to-back MVC Player of the Year accolades, and is the second to win Most Outstanding Player honors at the MVC Tournament twice.
Victor Oladipo, Junior, Indiana University: The 6-5 guard finished the regular season with an average of 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He and Georgetown’s Porter Jr. are the only players from Power 6 conferences averaging at least 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. He was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
Otto Porter Jr., Sophomore, Georgetown University: The 6-8 forward claimed Big East Player of the Year honors and averaged 16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game during the regular season. The Hoyas finished the regular season with a share of the Big East conference title and a No. 2 seed in NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
Other notable Naismith Trophy alumni include a pair of three-time winners in Bill Walton (1972, ‘73, ‘74) and Ralph Sampson (1981, ‘82, ‘83), Michael Jordan (1984), Kevin Durant (2007) and last year’s winner, Anthony Davis of Kentucky. The Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s best player. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
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 during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA’s Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Naismith Trophy in 1983. The Naismith Trophy has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, 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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