Smith Named Naismith Men's College Basketball Player of the Year Award Candidate - | Official Website of University of Louisville Athletics
Smith Named Naismith Men's College Basketball Player of the Year Award Candidate

Russ Smith ranks No. 2 in the BIG EAST in scoring.

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

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
Anthony Bennett Freshman F UNLV
Jared Berggren Senior F Wisconsin
Trey Burke Sophomore G Michigan
Isaiah Canaan Senior G Murray State
Michael Carter-Williams Sophomore G Syracuse
Ian Clark Senior G Belmont
Rotnei Clarke Senior G Butler
Jack Cooley Senior C Notre Dame
Allen Crabbe Junior G California
Seth Curry Senior G Duke
Matthew Dellavedova Senior G Saint Mary's
Jamaal Franklin Junior G San Diego State
Sean Kilpatrick Junior F Cincinnati
Shane Larkin Sophomore G Miami
Doug McDermott Junior F Creighton
Rodney McGruder Senior G Kansas State
Ben McLemore Freshman G Kansas
Shabazz Muhammad Freshman G UCLA
Mike Muscala Senior C Bucknell
Victor Oladipo Junior G Indiana
Kelly Olynyk Senior C Gonzaga
Brandon Paul Senior G Illinois
Mason Plumlee Senior F Duke
Otto Porter Jr. Sophomore F Georgetown
Marcus Smart Freshman G Oklahoma State
Russ Smith Junior G Louisville
DeShaun Thomas Senior F Ohio State
Jeff Withey Senior C Kansas
Nate Wolters Senior G South Dakota State
Cody Zeller Sophomore F Indiana



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