Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart, along three other Big 12 players, were named to the final 30 in the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Award competition in a press release Feb. 26, 2013, by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Kansas has two players on the list, Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey. Kansas State’s Rodney McGruder was also named to the list. Duke and Indiana were the only other two schools to have two players to make the final 30 list.
See the complete list here.
Fans will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite player. Fan voting will happen via texting and will open March 25. AT&T is the sponsor of the award, and the company says it will open the voting to other wireless carriers to allow more fans to vote. Fan voting will make up 25 percent of the final vote.
Kentucky’s Anthony Davis won last year’s men’s award.
The winner there will receive a vote to help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy Award winner. In late March four finalists will be chosen and the winner announced on April 7,
The top 30 were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s board of selectors. They based their choice on play to this point in the season.
Naismith Award winners are also named for women’s basketball, as well as boys and girls high school basketball. Coaches and referees are also honored.
Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart is the only player in the Big 12 Conference who ranks among the league’s leaders statistically in all five major categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks). Smart leads the league in steals, is fourth in scoring, sixth in assists and 16th in rebounding. He is also sixth in minutes played, seventh in free-throw percentage, eighth in assist-turnover ratio and 12th in defensive rebounds. That’s eight different statistical categories in which he ranks among the Big 12’s top 16. He has 75 steals through 26 games.
Smart averages 15 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Kansas State’s Rodney McGruder
McGruder leads the 13th-ranked Wildcats in six categories, including scoring (14.8 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (21), 20-point games (eight), field goals (155), rebounding (5.4 rpg.) and minutes (32.2 mpg.). He is connecting on 44.3 percent (155-of-350) of his field goals, including 34 percent (38-of-113) from 3-point range, while knocking down 75.9 percent (66-of-87) of his free throw attempts. Four times he has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week, winning the honor on Dec. 10 and 24, 2012 and Jan. 7 and 21.
Kansas’ Jeff Withey
Withey was named Big 12 Player of the Week for the second straight week on Monday. 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.
Kansas’ Ben McLemore
Ben McLemore leads Kansas in scoring at 15.9 points per game, which tops all Big 12 freshmen in scoring and ranks third overall in the conference. 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). He has been named the leagues player of the week and rookie of the week twice.