Lawal Makes Midseason List for Naismith Trophy

Feb. 24, 2010

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech forward/center Gani Lawal has been named to the Midseason list of 30 candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T, announced Wednesday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The 6-9 junior from Norcross, Ga., has been the Yellow Jackets’ scoring (13.9 points per game) and rebounding leader (9.3 per game) all season, and he ranks among the top five in the Atlantic Coast Conference in rebound average, field goal percentage (52.2 percent), blocked shots (1.5 per game).

Lawal, who made third-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference last year, entered this season as contender for player of the year honors in the ACC and the No. 7 center in the nation by The Sporting News.

The top 30 midseason men’s list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season.

The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the men’s college basketball player of the year. This year, the award will be presented at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis.

The Big East conference has seven players on the list, followed by the ACC with six. Two schools, Kansas and Kentucky, are represented by two players apiece.

As a presenting sponsor since 2005, AT&T has set the standard in fan participation in determining this year’s winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results — more than any other national college basketball award.

Beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers — and sports fans on other wireless networks — will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice. Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 3, 2010. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. Standard messaging rates apply.

CBS Sports’ “AT&T at the Half” features a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch, highlighting the men’s players in contention for the coveted award who have distinguished themselves throughout the season. On March 21, CBS will announce the four Naismith Trophy finalists during its first-round coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

2010 Naismith Men’s Mid-Season Candidates

Name School Position Class
Cole Aldrich Kansas Center Junior
Al-Farouq Aminu Wake Forest Forward Sophomore
James Anderson Oklahoma State Guard Junior
Luke Babbitt Nevada Forward Sophomore
Trevor Booker Clemson Forward Senior
Matt Bouldin Gonzaga Guard Senior
Da’Sean Butler West Virginia Forward Senior
Sherron Collins Kansas Guard Senior
DeMarcus Cousins Kentucky Forward Freshman
Devan Downey South Carolina Guard Senior
Jerome Dyson Connecticut Guard Senior
Jimmer Fredette BYU Guard Junior
Luke Harangody Notre Dame Forward Senior
Gordon Hayward Butler Guard/Forward Sophomore
Robbie Hummel Purdue Forward Junior
Damion James Texas Guard/Forward Senior
Wesley Johnson Syracuse Forward Junior
Dominique Jones South Florida Guard Junior
Sylven Landesberg Virginia Guard Sophomore
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech Forward Junior
Kalin Lucas Michigan State Guard Junior
Greg Monroe Georgetown Center Sophomore
Jacob Pullen Kansas State Guard Freshman
Scottie Reynolds Villanova Guard Senior
Omar Samhan Saint Mary’s Center Senior
Jon Scheyer Duke Guard Senior
Evan Turner Ohio State Guard/Forward Junior
Jarvis Varnado Mississippi State Forward Senior
Greivis Vasquez Maryland Guard Senior
John Wall Kentucky Guard Freshman

Other notable Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year winners include Bill Walton (UCLA), Larry Bird (Indiana State), Michael Jordan (North Carolina), Patrick Ewing (Georgetown), David Robinson (Navy), Kevin Durant (Texas) and last year’s winner, Blake Griffin of Oklahoma.

For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.