Finalists for Most Prestigious Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Awards
ATLANTA (March 31, 2020) – For the first time in the history of the Naismith Awards, which are administered by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, the Citizen Naismith Trophy Player of the Year winners, the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year honorees and Naismith Defensive Players of the Year will be announced live on CBS Sports HQ, the 24/7 streaming sports news network.
Aliyah Boston (South Carolina), Aari McDonald (Arizona), DiDi Richards (Baylor) and Kylee Shook (Louisville) have been named by the Atlanta Tipoff Club as finalists for Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year. The finalists for the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year are Marcus Garrett (Kansas), Ashton Hagans (Kentucky), Tre Jones (Duke) and Mark Vital (Baylor). The winners of the Naismith Defensive Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year will be announced live on Wednesday, April 1, at 12 p.m. ET on CBS Sports HQ, which is available for free at CBSSports.com and on the CBS Sports app for mobile and connected TV devices.
The 2020 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year Award finalists include Scott Drew (Baylor), Brian Dutcher (San Diego State), Anthony Grant (Dayton) and Leonard Hamilton (Florida State). Adia Barnes (Arizona), Kelly Graves (Oregon), Joe McKeown (Northwestern) and Dawn Staley (South Carolina) were named the 2020 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Award finalists. The winners of the Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year Awards will be announced live on CBS Sports HQ on Thursday, April 2, at 12 p.m. ET.
The five finalists vying for the honor of the 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy, recognizing the most outstanding men’s college basketball player, include seniors Udoka Azubuike (Kansas), Myles Powell (Seton Hall) and Payton Pritchard (Oregon), junior Luka Garza (Iowa) and sophomore Obi Toppin (Dayton). For the Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy honoring player of the year, Lauren Cox (Baylor), Tyasha Harris (South Carolina), Rhyne Howard (Kentucky) and Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon) made the finalists list. On Friday, April 3, at 12 p.m. ET on CBS Sports HQ, the winners of the Citizen Naismith Trophy for Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year will be unveiled.
“While the season ended prematurely, we still want to honor these finalists appropriately and announce the winners on a national platform,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “We are grateful to our friends at CBS Sports HQ for providing such an amazing platform to captivate the college basketball audience one last time this season.”
The finalists for the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year and Citizen Naismith Trophy were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding on-court performances during the 2019-20 regular college basketball season. The national voting academy is voting for the winners, and the Naismith Awards fan vote will account for 5% of the overall vote. The vote will be tabulated and certified by Aprio, a premier, CPA-led business advisory firm, headquartered in Atlanta. The Naismith Defensive Players of the Year finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s board of selectors, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, who based their selections on outstanding on-court defensive performances during the 2019-20 regular college basketball season.
For more information, visit www.naismithtrophy.com.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Citizen Watch Company, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.
Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club