Nov. 5, 2004
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech basketball players B.J. Elder, Jarrett Jack and Luke Schenscher have all been named to the preseason list of the top 50 candidates for the Naismith Trophy, given annually to the top player in college basketball.
The Top 50 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its pre-season criteria on player performances from last season.
“The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious honor in college basketball,” said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. “Any of our pre-season candidates are worthy of this honor and we look forward to an exciting year to see who will raise the Naismith in April.”
All three Tech players are also on the preseason list for the John R. Wooden Award, given to the nation’s top player by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Elder, the ACC’s fifth-leading scorer during the regular season at 14.9 points a game, averaged 17.8 points in Tech’s four NCAA Tournament games before spraining his right ankle early in the St. Louis regional semifinal against Nevada. The Madison, Ga., native was named honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press, finishing the season at 41.5 percent from the floor, 37.4 percent from three-point range and 78.0 percent from the foul line. He comes into his senior year 20th on Tech’s all-time scoring list with 1,326 points, and ranked sixth in career three-point field goals with 179.
Jack, a 6-3 junior from Fort Washington, Md., is the only player to start every game the last two seasons. He led Tech in scoring during the NCAA Tournament with an 11.3 average, including a career-high 29 points against Kansas in the regional final in St. Louis, and finished the season fourth in the ACC in assist average (5.61 per game) and fifth in steals (1.95 per game), while shooting 45.6 percent from the floor. He begins his senior year No. 10 in career assists (398) and No. 12 in career steals (125) at Tech.
Schenscher, a 7-1 senior from Hope Forest, South Australia, averaged 10.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament, including 19 points and 12 rebounds in the national semifinal against Oklahoma State. For the season, he averaged 9.2 points and 6.6 rebounds (8th in the ACC). He shot 56.5 percent from the floor and ranked fourth in the ACC in blocked shots (1.42 per game).
In January, the Board of Selectors will narrow its pre-season list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March. Beginning in mid-February, CBS’ “Cingular at the Half” will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch highlighting the players in contention. The player of the year will be recognized at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April.
The pre-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:
Player Height Class Position SchoolHassan Adams 6'4" Jr. Guard ArizonaSean Banks 6'8" So. Forward MemphisBrandon Bass 6'8" So. Forward Louisiana StateAndrew Bogut 7'0" So. Forward/Center UtahKevin Bookout 6'8" Jr. Forward OklahomaDee Brown 6'0" Jr. Guard IllinoisTaylor Coppenrath 6'9" Sr. Forward VermontPaul Davis 6'11" Jr. Center Michigan StateTravis Diener 6'1" Sr. Guard MarquetteIke Diogu 6'8" Jr. Forward/Center Arizona StateB.J. Elder 6'4" Sr. Guard/Forward Georgia TechDaniel Ewing 6'3" Sr. Guard DukeRaymond Felton 6'0" Jr. Guard North CarolinaTorin Francis 6'11" Jr. Forward/Center Notre DameChanning Frye 6'11" Sr. Center ArizonaFrancisco Garcia 6'7" Jr. Forward LouisvilleJohn Gilchrist 6'3" Jr. Guard MarylandRyan Gomes 6'7" Sr. Forward ProvidenceJoey Graham 6'7" Sr. Forward Oklahoma StateJustin Gray 6'2" Jr. Guard Wake ForestChuck Hayes 6'6" Sr. Forward KentuckyJulius Hodge 6'6" Sr. Guard North Carolina StateJarrett Jack 6'3" Jr. Guard Georgia TechCarl Krauser 6'2" Jr. Guard PittsburghKeith Langford 6'4" Sr. Forward KansasDavid Lee 6'9" Sr. Forward FloridaJohn Lucas Jr. 5'11" Sr. Guard Oklahoma StateSean May 6'9" Jr. Forward/Center North CarolinaJason Maxiell 6'7" Sr. Forward CincinnatiRashad McCants 6'3" Jr. Forward North CarolinaGerry McNamara 6'2" Jr. Guard SyracuseChris Paul 6'0" So. Guard Wake ForestJ.J. Redick 6'4" Jr. Guard DukeAnthony Roberson 6'2" Jr. Guard FloridaLawrence Roberts 6'9" Sr. Forward Mississippi StateNate Robinson 5'9" Jr. Guard WashingtonLuke Schenscher 7'1" Sr. Center Georgia TechMustafa Shakur 6'3" So. Guard ArizonaWayne Simien 6'9" Sr. Forward KansasSalim Stoudamire 6'1" Sr. Guard ArizonaChris Thomas 6'1" Sr. Guard Notre DameRonny Turiaf 6'10" Sr. Forward GonzagaCharlie Villanueva 6'11" So. Forward ConnecticutMatt Walsh 6'6" Jr. Guard/Forward FloridaHakim Warrick 6'9" Sr. Forward SyracuseDeron Williams 6'3" Jr. Guard IllinoisShelden Williams 6'9" Jr. Forward DukeKennedy Winston 6'6" Jr. Forward AlabamaCurtis Withers 6'8" Jr. Forward CharlotteBracey Wright 6'3" Jr. Guard Indiana
Last year’s Naismith Trophy recipient was Saint Joseph’s University guard Jameer Nelson. Other notable men’s college player of the year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Christian Laettner. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting, has presented the Naismith Trophy since Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969.
ABOUT CINGULAR WIRELESS
Cingular Wireless is the largest wireless carrier in the United States, serving more than 46 million customers. Cingular, a joint venture between SBC Communications (NYSE: SBC) and BellSouth (NYSE: BLS), has the largest digital voice and data network in the nation. Cingular is the only U.S. wireless carrier to offer Rollover(SM), the wireless plan that lets customers keep their unused monthly minutes. Details of the company are available at http://www.cingular.com . Get Cingular Wireless press releases e-mailed to you automatically. Sign up at http://www.cingular.com/newsroom.