Four Wildcats Named to Naismith Preseason Watch List
Nov. 7, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The UK men’s basketball team had four players named to the 2011-12 Naismith preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Monday.
Jones, the Southeastern Conference media’s pick for league preseason Player of the Year, received 33 votes. He averaged 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds last season helping guide the Wildcats to the Final Four.
The 2011 SEC Freshman of the Year (league coaches) and SEC Newcomer of the Year (Associated Press) averaged 15.7 points, while pulling down 8.8 rebounds per game, ranking seventh and first in the SEC respectively.
Jones set the UK freshman single-game scoring record last season with 35 points against Auburn. He also posted 13 double-doubles, second most among UK freshmen all-time and his eight 20-point games was fourth most by a freshman in program history.
The three freshmen were part of the top-ranked recruiting class in the country and were three of the finalists for the Naismith Award for the national high school player of the year last season.
Kentucky was one of two schools (North Carolina) to have four players on the list, while the SEC boasted 10 players, the most of any conference, from four different schools.
The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012 college basketball season.
In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists. The Naismith Trophy will be awarded at the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four in New Orleans.