Wiggins and Embiid named to midseason Naismith list

Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid were recognized as two of the top 30 candidates for the 2014 Naismith Award on Thursday.  Earlier in the season, Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden were named to the watch list (Joel Embiid was left off).  Danny Manning is the only recipient to ever play for Kansas.

Here’s the release from Big12Sports.com:

Five Big 12 student-athletes were recognized as top 30 candidates for the 2014 Men’s Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T.

Melvin Ejim (Iowa State), DeAndre Kane (Iowa State), Joel Embiid (Kansas), Andrew Wiggins (Kansas) and Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) represent the Big 12 on the list. The league’s five candidates ranks first among all conferences.

The Naismith Trophy was first awarded to the men’s college basketball player of the year in 1969.  In 1983, the Naismith Awards also began recognizing the women’s college basketball player of the year. The Awards further expanded in 1987 to honor the men’s and women’s college coaches of the year, the boy and girl high school players of the year, and, in 1988, the men’s and women’s college officials of the year.

In November of each year, the board of selectors, comprised of coaches, administrators and media from across the country, chooses the preseason top 50 “watch list”. In February, the Naismith voting academy narrows the list to the top 30 based on athletic performance. In March, the voting academy selects the four finalists who will go to the final ballot. The winner is selected by a board of selectors vote in conjunction with fan voting.

As the creator of the Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Tipoff Club was founded during the 1956-57 basketball season and has since been armed with the mission of promoting the continued support for the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting.

Here’s the full list:

  • Kyle Anderson, UCLA
  • Keith Appling, Michigan State
  • Cameron Bairstow, New Mexico
  • James Bell, Villanova
  • Bryce Cotton, Providence
  • Cleanthony Early, Wichita State
  • Melvin Ejim, Iowa State
  • Joel Embiid, Kansas
  • Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
  • C.J. Fair, Syracuse
  • Aaron Gordon, Arizona
  • Gary Harris, Michigan State
  • Joe Jackson, Memphis
  • Nick Johnson, Arizona
  • DeAndre Kane, Iowa State
  • Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati
  • Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa
  • Doug McDermott, Creighton
  • Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
  • Jabari Parker, Duke
  • Lamar Patterson, Pittsburgh
  • Casey Prather, Florida
  • Julius Randle, Kentucky
  • Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
  • Russ Smith, Louisville
  • Nik Stauskas, Michigan
  • Xavier Thames, San Diego State
  • Fred VanVleet, Wichita State
  • Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
  • Chaz Williams, Massachusetts