ATLANTA – Kansas’ Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey have been named to the list of top 30 candidates for the 2013 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year award presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.
Duke (Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee) and Indiana (Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller) join Kansas with two candidates each on the top 30 list.
McLemore leads No. 6/5 Kansas (24-4) in scoring at 15.9 points per game, which tops all Big 12 freshmen in scoring and ranks third overall in the conference. The Jan. 14 Big 12 Player of the Week and two-time conference Rookie of the Week, McLemore leads the league in free throw percentage (88.0) and is third in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage (42.3). The St. Louis, Mo., redshirt freshman guard is listed on the USBWA Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year Award Midseason list and has a team-high 52 three-pointers made.
A senior center from San Diego, Calif., on Monday Withey was named the Big 12 Player of the Week for the second straight week and third time in 2012-13. He leads Kansas in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and has 11 double-doubles this season, including four in his last five games. Withey is tops in the league in blocked shots at 3.8 per game, which ranks third nationally. Withey, who averages 13.5 points per outing, is Kansas’ and the Big 12’s all-time blocked shots leader with 272.
The top 30 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.
For the ninth consecutive 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 will open to fans on Monday, March 25. Naismith Trophy presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate.