2020 Season Tips Off with 50 Players to Watch Competing for the Top Men’s Honor in College Basketball

 ATLANTA (November 4, 2019) – The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today the 50 men’s players to watch during the season-long competition for the 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year honor. A list of the midseason 30 team will be released in early February, followed by the 10 national semifinalists and four finalists on March 5, 2020, and March 17, 2020, respectively. The 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy will be awarded in the hometown of the Atlanta Tipoff Club during the Final Four at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 5, 2020.

“The beginning of the season is filled with excitement, optimism and anticipation as each team and every player is undefeated, making the race for the Citizen Naismith Trophy wide open. While these 50 candidates are ones to keep an eye on, there will be plenty of others who will enter the competition as the season heats up,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “This year will be especially exciting for this award as we will honor the nation’s top player in our home city when Atlanta hosts the 2020 Final Four.”

Overall, the SEC tops the list with nine players represented, while the Big Ten and ACC are close runners-up with eight and seven candidates on the watch list, respectively. Seven schools lead the watch list with two players apiece, including Duke, which has won more Citizen Naismith Trophies (8) than any other school with the addition of last year’s winner, Zion Williamson. Additional schools with two players represented include Davidson, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland and Michigan State. The 2019 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Player of the Year award winner, Isaiah Stewart, now a freshman at the University of Washington, 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.

“The Citizen Naismith Trophy rewards the impressive efforts of the players on the watch list,” said Eric Horowitz, managing director U.S. and travel retail, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. “We look forward to watching them compete for the Men’s Player of the Year honor.”

2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Preseason Watch List

ColeAnthonyFr.GNorth CarolinaACC
UdokaAzubuikeSr.CKansasBig 12
KamarBaldwinSr.GButlerBIG EAST
CharlesBasseySo.CWestern KentuckyC-USA
KerryBlackshear Jr.Sr.FFloridaSEC
VernonCarey Jr.Fr.CDukeACC
TristanClarkJr.FBaylorBig 12
AnthonyCowan Jr.Sr.GMarylandBig Ten
AlphaDialloSr.GProvidenceBIG EAST
AyoDosunmuSo.GIllinoisBig Ten
DevonDotsonSo.GKansasBig 12
JordanFordSr.GSt. Mary’sWCC
Jon AxelGudmundssonSr.GDavidsonA-10
TyreseHaliburtonSo.GIowa StateBig 12
MarkusHowardSr.GMarquetteBIG EAST
MarkellJohnsonSr.GNC StateACC
AnthonyLambSr.FVermontAmerica East
KiraLewis Jr. So.GAlabamaSEC
NajiMarshallJr.FXavierBIG EAST
SamMerrillSr.GUtah StateMountain West
JohnMooneySr.FNotre DameACC
ReggiePerrySo.FMississippi StateSEC
MylesPowellSr.GSeton HallBIG EAST
ZavierSimpsonSr.GMichiganBig Ten
JalenSmithSo.FMarylandBig Ten
LamarStevensSr.FPenn StateBig Ten
XavierTillmanJr.FMichigan StateBig Ten
TresTinkleSr.FOregon StatePac-12
BreeinTyreeSr.GOle MissSEC
KalebWessonJr.FOhio StateBig Ten
CassiusWinstonSr.GMichigan StateBig Ten
McKinleyWright IVJr.GColoradoPac-12


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.


Citizen, a pioneer in watchmaking and innovation since 1918, promotes excellence and creativity with a deep-rooted respect for craftsmanship. Citizen advocates “Better Starts Now,” searching for and accomplishing goals that cultivate positive change. Driven to create timepieces enjoyed by citizens all over the world, Citizen formed an alliance partnership with Disney in 2018, another powerhouse brand with similar values. With a long-term partnership in place, Citizen participates in activations surrounding the Disney Parks, Marvel, Star Wars and more. Citizen is the Official Timepiece of both Walt Disney World and Disneyland with branded clocks in both theme parks.

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]