Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins and Wichita State sophomore Fred VanVleet were among 10 semifinalists announced Friday for the Naismith Award, given annually to the nation’s best college basketball player.
Wiggins is averaging 16.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for No. 5 Kansas, which has clinched a share of its 10th straight Big 12 regular-season championship. VanVleet is the maestro behind No. 2 Wichita State’s 30-0 start, averaging 12.3 points and 5.2 assists per game. The Shockers’ final regular-season game is Saturday at home against Missouri State.
Wiggins joined three other freshmen on the list — Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis, Duke forward Jabari Parker and Kentucky freshman Julius Randle. Creighton senior Doug McDermott is the consensus favorite for national player of the year.
Wiggins is also a finalist for the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year award, given annually by the United States Basketball Writers Association.
The four Naismith finalists will be unveiled on March 23, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced on Friday.The full list of semifinalists:
• Tyler Ennis, Syracuse, freshman, guard
• Nick Johnson, Arizona, junior, guard
• Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati, senior, guard
• Doug McDermott, Creighton, senior, forward
• Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, senior, guard
• Jabari Parker, Duke, freshman, forward
• Julius Randle, Kentucky, freshman, forward
• Russ Smith, Louisville, senior, guard
• Fred VanVleet, Wichita State, sophomore, guard
• Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, freshman, guard