Naismith Award: Top 50 Early-Season Men's Watch List Announced

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2012

One of the biggest honors in all of college basketball is the Naismith College Player of the Year Award. Since 1969, some of the biggest and most important figures in the history of the sport have had this honor bestowed upon them. 

Players like Lew Alcindor, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Kevin Durant have won the Naismith Award, which is handed out by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. 

With the start of the 2012-13 college basketball season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club has released its list of the top 50 early-season men's players to watch. These are the biggest and best players in the sport who figure to be in the mix for the Naismith Award at the end of the year. 

The list is comprised of 32 upperclassmen and 18 underclassmen, including seven freshmen. Last year's winner, Anthony Davis, joined Durant as the only other freshman to earn the honor. Davis was also the first player from the University of Kentucky to win the award. 

As the season moves along, this list will be dwindled down to 30 names on February 26. On March 4 the Atlanta Tipoff Club will name four finalists, with the winner being announced on April 7, the day before the NCAA title game in Atlanta. 

Here are the 50 players who comprise the early-season men's watch list for the Naismith Award. 


 UCLA F Kyle Anderson
 Louisville F Chane Behanan
 Florida G Kenny Boynton
 N.C. State G Lorenzo Brown
 Michigan G Trey Burke
 Murray State G Isaiah Canaan
 Syracuse G Michael Carter-Williams
 Butler G Rotnei Clarke
 Notre Dame F Jack Cooley
 Ohio G D.J. Cooper
 Ohio State G Aaron Craft
 Saint Mary's G Matthew Dellavedova
 Louisville C Gorgui Dieng
 Missouri G Michael Dixon Jr.
 San Diego State G Jamaal Franklin
 Penn State G Tim Frazier
 Kentucky G Archie Goodwin
 Gonzaga F Elias Harris
 Baylor G Pierre Jackson
 Cincinnati G/F Sean Kilpatrick
 N.C. State F C.J. Leslie
 Arizona G Mark Lyons
 Minnesota F Trevor Mbakwe
 North Carolina F James Michael McAdoo
 Lehigh G C.J. McCollum
 Creighton F Doug McDermott
 Kansas State G Rodney McGruder
 Kansas G Ben McLemore
 North Texas F Tony Mitchell
 UNLV F Mike Moser
 UCLA G/F Shabazz Muhammad
 Kentucky F Nerlens Noel
 Gonzaga G Kevin Pangos
 Duke F Mason Plumlee
 Georgetown F Otto Porter
 Kentucky F Alex Poythress
 Missouri G Phil Pressey
 Colorado F Andre Roberson
 Louisville G Peyton Siva
 Oklahoma State G Marcus Smart
 Florida State G Michael Snaer
 Tennessee F Jarnell Stokes
 Memphis F Adonis Thomas
 Ohio State F DeShaun Thomas
 Indiana F Christian Watford
 Kansas C Jeff Withey
 South Dakota State G Nate Wolters
 Arkansas G B.J. Young
 Florida C Patric Young
 Indiana F Cody Zeller