Oct. 25, 2007
ATLANTA - Washington State University men's basketball seniors Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver added to their list of preseason honors as they were each named to the 2007-08 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T preseason candidate watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday.
Last season Low and Weaver led the Cougars in scoring with 13.7 and 11.2 points per game, respectively. In 2006-07, the backcourt duo became the first WSU student-athletes to earn Pacific-10 All-Conference honors since 1995-96. They also became the first Cougars to represent the United States in men's basketball at the Pan American Games with their selections to the team in the summer of 2007.
Washington State is one of seven Pacific-10 schools represented on the list, as the league accounts for 12 of the 50 players. UCLA led the way with three members, while California and Stanford joined WSU with two representatives apiece. Arizona, Washington and USC were also accounted for. North Carolina tied UCLA with the most members with three, as the Atlantic Coast Conference accumulated the second-most candidates with seven.
The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its pre-season criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2007-08 season. Seniors and juniors accounted for 17 apiece, along with 16 sophomores. The list does not include incoming freshmen, although those student-athletes will be considered in the first vote in January, 2008. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's players of the year.
"The talent level is vast and far-reaching which indicates competition continues to grow at a high rate," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "The winner of the Naismith Trophy can come from any conference and any class rank, as we witnessed last year with our first ever freshman winner, Kevin Durant of Texas."
AT&T will continue to set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year's 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 January, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its preseason list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March. Beginning in mid-February, CBS' "AT&T at the Half" will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention. In April, the Naismith Trophy winner will be recognized at the NCAA Men's Final Four in San Antonio.
Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient was University of Texas forward Kevin Durant, who became the first freshmen ever to win the award. Other notable men's college player of the year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson.
Last season Washington State head coach Tony Bennett took home the Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year award.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.