LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville’s Russ Smith is one of four finalists for the 2014 Naismith Trophy Men’s College Player of the Year award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced late Sunday. Smith is one of two seniors in the running for the accolade.
The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based selections on individual performances throughout the 2013-14 men’s college basketball regular season. The winner of the award, presented by AT&T, will be revealed April 6 in Dallas.
For the 10th-consecutive year, fans have the opportunity to vote for the player of their choice and help determine the 2014 Naismith Trophy winner. Beginning March 24 and running through April 5, fans can cast their vote through the online and mobile optimized site www.NaismithVote.com. The fan vote represents 25 percent of the selection process – the largest fan impact of any collegiate basketball award.
One of two players who have helped their team continue its postseason, Smith is averaging 18.1 points, 4.7 assists, and 2.0 assists this season. During the 2013-14 season, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native has become the only player in school history with at least 1,800 career points, 350 assists and 250 steals. In the Cardinals’ NCAA Tournament second-round game, Smith passed former teammate Peyton Siva as the school’s all-time career steals leader with 256 thefts.
The 6-foot guard is the only player in the American Athletic Conference to rank among the top five in league-only stats in scoring (18.0 points per game), assists (4.7), steals (2.3), and 3-point percentage (.474).
Smith, a first-team All-American by The Sporting News and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, also received All-America accolades from Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, and The Bleacher Report. His list of honors also includes USBWA District IV Player of the Year and a unanimous all-AAC first team member.
Louisville returns to action in the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Indianapolis against in-state rival and No. 8-seed Kentucky. Tipoff time is approximately 9:45 p.m.
2014 NAISMITH MEN’S COLLEGE PLAYER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Nick Johnson, Junior, Arizona
Doug McDermott, Senior, Creighton
Jabari Parker, Freshman, Duke
Russ Smith, Senior, Louisville