Lobos' Kirk, Williams Named to Naismith Trophy Watch List

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ATLANTA - New Mexico senior guard Kendall Williams and junior center Alex Kirk have both been named to the Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List, announced Thursday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for one of the sport's most prestigious honors.

New Mexico was one of 12 programs to have multiple student-athletes selected to the list, joining defending NCAA Champion Louisville, Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, UCLA and VCU.

Williams and Kirk both were invited to the World University Games tryout camp in Colorado Springs this summer, with Kirk making the squad that finished ninth in Russia this summer. Both players were selected as preseason Mountain West All-Conference team members, and Williams was the Preseason Player of the Year after winning the 2012-13 Player of the Year Award and earning honorable mention Associated Press All-America honors.

The 50-player 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 2013-14 college basketball season. In late February, the selection committee will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. In March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow the list to the four finalists.

Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, creator of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy Presented by AT&T will be awarded to the men’s college player of the year on April 6, 2014 in Dallas.

2013-14 NAISMITH TROPHY EARLY SEASON TOP-50 WATCH LIST
Name Class Position Team
Jordan Adams So. G UCLA
Kyle Anderson So. G/F UCLA
Isaiah Austin So. C Baylor
Jerrelle Benimon Sr. F Towson
Jahii Carson So. G Arizona State
Semaj Christon So. G Xavier
Aaron Craft Sr. G Ohio State
Sam Dekker So. F Wisconsin
Spencer Dinwiddie Jr. G Colorado
Cleanthony Early Sr. F Wichita State
Perry Ellis So. F Kansas
C.J. Fair Sr. F Syracuse
Yogi Ferrell So. G Indiana
Aaron Gordon Fr. F Arizona
Treveon Graham Jr. G VCU
Jerian Grant Sr. G Notre Dame
Montrezl Harrell So. F Louisville
Gary Harris So. G Michigan State
Joe Harris Sr. G Virginia
Andrew Harrison Fr. G Kentucky
Tyler Haws Jr. G BYU
Marshall Henderson Sr. G Ole Miss
Rodney Hood So. F Duke
Joe Jackson Sr. G Memphis
Cory Jefferson Sr. F Baylor
Sean Kilpatrick Sr. G Cincinnati
ALEX KIRK JR. C NEW MEXICO
James Michael McAdoo Jr. F North Carolina
Doug McDermott Sr. F Creighton
Mitch McGary So. F Michigan
Jordan McRae Sr. G Tennessee
Shabazz Napier Sr. G Connecticut
Johnny O'Bryant III Jr. F LSU
Kevin Pangos Jr. G Gonzaga
Jabari Parker Fr. F Duke
Adreian Payne Sr. C Michigan State
Julius Randle Fr. F Kentucky
Juvonte Reddic Sr. F VCU
Glenn Robinson III So. F Michigan
LaQuinton Ross Jr. F Ohio State
Wayne Selden Jr. Fr. G Kansas
Marcus Smart So. G Oklahoma State
Russ Smith Sr. G Louisville
Jarnell Stokes Jr. F Tennessee
Rasheed Sulaimon So. G Duke
Noah Vonleh Fr. F Indiana
Andrew Wiggins Fr. G Kansas
KENDALL WILLIAMS SR. G NEW MEXICO
Chaz Williams Fr. G/F Kentucky
James Young Fr. G Kentucky