Russ Smith ranks No. 2 in the BIG EAST in scoring.
Feb. 26, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men's basketball player Russ Smith has been named a candidate for one of the top athletic awards in college basketball.
On Tuesday evening, the Atlanta Tipoff Club named Smith one of its top-30 candidates for the 2013 Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Award, a prestigious award bestowed to the best player in men's college basketball.
For the ninth-straight year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting opens to fans on March 25. Naismith Trophy presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling more fans to participate. For more information, log on to www.naismithawards.com.
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native is among the BIG EAST leaders scoring (36th nationally; No. 2 in the BIG EAST), free throw percentage (No. 5 in the BIG EAST), and steals per game (35th nationally; tied for third in the BIG EAST). Heading into Wednesday's game against DePaul, Smith is just 15 points shy of becoming Louisville's 65th men's basketball player to reach 1,000 points.
During the 2012-13 season, Smith has accumulated multiple honors. In January, he was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25. Following the win over Kentucky earlier this year, Smith was named Bluegrass Sports Commission MVP of the game and BIG EAST Player of the Week after a 21-point performance. The junior opened the year by earning a spot on the Battle 4 Atlantis all-tournament team.
Notable Naismith Trophy alumni include a pair of three-time winners in Bill Walton (1972, 73, 74) and Ralph Sampson (181, 82, 83), Michael Jordan (1984), and Kevin Durant (2007).
The candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances to this point in the 2013 men's college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the list to four finalists. The Naismith Men's College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 7, 2013, in Atlanta, site of this year's NCAA Final Four.
|First Name||Last Name||Class||Position||School|
|Jamaal||Franklin||Junior||G||San Diego State|
|Nate||Wolters||Senior||G||South Dakota State|