Sherron Collins (Kansas), whose school has a distinct connection to the Naismith Trophy as well as a past winner in Danny Manning (1988), is joined by Wes Johnson (Syracuse), Evan Turner (Ohio State) and John Wall (Kentucky) on the final ballot.
The winner will be named at the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Guardians of the Game awards program at the Murat Theatre on Sunday, April 4 in Indianapolis.
""There is a remarkable correlation between individual accomplishments and team success, and these four candidates have all played a key role this season,"" said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. ""That kind of quality is inherent in all of our past winners and we're excited to see who from this talented group will join the prestigious Naismith Trophy family.""
The finalists were voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's National Voting Academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The academy based its criteria on player performances this season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.
Today, the Naismith Trophy is regarded as the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the men's college basketball player of the year.
Beginning today, fans will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice by texting VOTE to 345345. Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 3, 2010. Standard messaging rates apply. Fans are allowed one vote per 24-hour period.
ABOUT THE FINALISTS
Sherron Collins, Senior Guard: A back-to-back All-Big 12 performer, Collins has been part of the most wins in a four-year span in Kansas basketball history with 129 victories, including 32 regular-season wins this year. Collins led the team in scoring at 15.6 points per game and has seven games with 20 points or more this season. Collins is second in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 85.1 percent. He will be graduating in four years this May.
Wes Johnson, Junior Forward: Johnson led Syracuse in both scoring (16.0) and rebounding (8.4) this season and helped pace the Orange to 28 regular-season wins, good enough to win the Big East regular-season title and earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. For his efforts the coaches selected him as the Big East Player of the Year
Evan Turner, Junior Guard: The Big Ten Player of the Year led Ohio State to a share of the regular season championship and the conference tournament championship. He led the conference in both scoring (20.3) and rebounding (9.2), while also averaging 2.0 steals and 5.9 assists per game. He returned from injury to lead the Buckeyes to 27 regular-season wins and a No. 2 see