Fifty Players Vying for 2019 Top Player of the Year Honor as Season Tips Off

 ATLANTA (November 5, 2018) – Today, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced 50 men’s players to watch for the 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year honor. A list of the midseason 30 team will be released on Feb. 13, 2019, followed by the 10 national semifinalists and four finalists on March 4, 2019 and March 19, 2019 respectively. The 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy will be awarded on at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 7, 2019, during the Final Four in Minneapolis.

“This time of year is filled with excitement, optimism and anticipation as each team is undefeated and the race for the Citizen Naismith Trophy is wide open. These 50 candidates are ones to keep an eye on, but there will be plenty of others who will enter the competition throughout the season,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “It’s great to have the season tipping off tomorrow.”

2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Preseason Watch List

KamarBaldwinJr.GButlerBIG EAST 
BolBolFr.C OregonPac-12
PhilBoothSr.GVillanovaBIG EAST 
KyBowmanJr.GBoston CollegeACC
BarryBrownSr.GKansas StateBig 12 
JordanCarolineSr.G/FNevadaMountain West 
ClaytonCusterSr.GLoyola of ChicagoMissouri Valley
MikeDaumSr.FSouth Dakota StateSummit League
CarsenEdwardsJr.GPurdueBig Ten 
JonElmoreSr.GMarshallConference USA
JessieGovanSr.C GeorgetownBIG EAST 
KellanGradySo.GDavidsonAtlantic 10
QuentinGrimesFr.GKansasBig 12
EthanHappSr.FWisconsinBig Ten 
MarkusHowardJr.GMarquetteBIG EAST 
SagabaKonateJr.FWest VirginiaBig 12
RomeoLangfordFr.GIndianaBig Ten 
DedricLawsonJr.FKansasBig 12
NassirLittleFr.FNorth CarolinaACC
CalebMartinSr.FNevadaMountain West 
CharlesMatthewsSr.GMichiganBig Ten 
LukeMayeSr.FNorth CarolinaACC
JuwanMorganSr. FIndianaBig Ten 
JordanMurphySr.FMinnesotaBig Ten 
JamesPalmer Jr.Sr.GNebraskaBig Ten 
EricPaschallSr.FVillanovaBIG EAST 
ShamoriePondsJr.GSt. John'sBIG EAST 
JustinRobinsonSr.GVirginia TechACC
ChrisSilvaSr.FSouth CarolinaSEC 
DeanWadeSr.FKansas StateBig 12
LindellWiggintonSo.GIowa StateBig 12
GrantWilliamsJr. FTennesseeSEC 
CassiusWinstonJr.GMichigan StateBig Ten 

Overall, the ACC tops the list with 10 players represented, while the SEC is a close runner-up with nine candidates on the Watch List. Duke, which has won more Citizen Naismith Trophies (7) than any other school, and Kentucky lead the Watch List with three players apiece. The 2018 Naismith High School Player of the Year award winner, R.J. Barrett, also made this year’s college Watch List. Players who do not make the Watch List are still eligible to be selected for the Midseason 30 Team.


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 top 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 the Citizen Watch Company, Werner Ladder and Bona.


Citizen, a pioneer in watchmaking and innovative technology since 1918, promotes excellence and creativity with a deep-rooted respect for craftsmanship. Citizen advocates “Better Starts Now,” searching for and accomplishing goals that are cause driven. In this respect, Citizen aligns with organizations and personalities that reflect the values of the brand including the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, Naismith Awards, National Merit Scholarship, and Good360.

For over 40 years, Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology has served as the prime example of how the brand is dedicated to making the world and its environment a better place. A simple yet revolutionary concept, Eco-Drive harnesses the power of light from any natural or artificial light source and converts it into energy, eliminating the need for any battery replacement.


Media Contact:

Traci Messier

Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club

[email protected]