Kentucky Wildcats Place Three Freshmen on Naismith Award Watch List

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The watch list for the Naismith Award, honoring the nation’s top college basketball player, was release today. The Kentucky Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels lead the way, as each school had four players make the short list. For UK, three of them are freshmen from their soon-to-be-legendary recruiting class: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marquis Teague.

All three are McDonald’s All-Americans and they have a fourth MAA Kyle Wiltjer, who just missed making the watch list. Go here (A Sea of Blue) to learn more about their talented freshmen class.

Locally, John Shurna of Northwestern has also earned the recognition. He is also on the watch list for the Wooden Award for the second consecutive season, which is a similar award.

Shurna has been named a preseason second-team All-America selection of Sporting News and a third-team choice of Athlon Sports. He enters his senior season with 1,377 career points, 523 points shy of Billy McKinney’s school record of 1,900.

Shurna is joined on the list by fellow Big Ten players Tim Hardaway Jr. of Michigan, Draymond Green of Michigan State, William Buford, Aaron Craft and Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, Robbie Hummel of Purdue and Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor.

Here is the entire 2011-12 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List:

Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame, GS, F
Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, So., F
Will Barton, Memphis, So., G
Bradley Beal, Florida, Fr., G
William Buford, Ohio State, Sr., G
Aaron Craft, Ohio State, So., G
Anthony Davis, Kentucky, Fr., F
Marcus Denmon, Missouri, Sr., G
Andre Drummond, Connecticut, Fr., C
Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt, Sr., C
Ashton Gibbs, Pitt, Sr., G
Michael Glover, Iona, Sr., F
Drew Gordon, New Mexico, Sr., F
Draymond Green, Michigan State, Sr., F
JaMychal Green, Alabama, Sr., F
Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, So., G
Elias Harris, Gonzaga, Jr., F
John Henson, North Carolina, Jr., F
Tu Holloway, Xavier, Sr., G
Robbie Hummel, Purdue, Sr., F
Joe Jackson, Memphis, Jr., G
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt, So., G
Orlando Johnson, UC Santa Barbara, Sr., G
Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette, Sr., G
Perry Jones III, Baylor, So., F
Terrence Jones, Kentucky, So., F
Kevin Jones, West Virginia, Sr., F
Kris Joseph, Syracuse, Sr., F
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky, Fr., F
Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut, So., G
Kendall Marshall, North Carolina, So., G
Ray McCallum, Detroit, So., G
Doug McDermott, Creighton, So., F
Khris Middleton, Texas A&M, Jr., F
Quincy Miller, Baylor, Fr., F
Reeves Nelson, UCLA, Jr., F
Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure, Sr., F
Alex Oriakhi, Connecticut, Jr., C
Austin Rivers, Duke, Fr., G
Thomas Robinson, Kansas, Jr., F
Terrence Ross, Washington, So., G
John Shurna, Northwestern, Sr., F
Peyton Siva, Louisville, Jr., G
Joshua Smith, UCLA, So., C
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, So., C
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin, Sr., G
Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt, Sr., G/F
Marquis Teague, Kentucky, Fr., G
Patric Young, Florida, So., F/C
Tyler Zeller, North Carolina, Sr., F

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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