University of Louisville sophomore forward Samardo Samuels is among 50 individuals named to the Naismith Trophy 2009-10 preseason watch list, announced today by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Samuels is one of nine BIG EAST Conference players included on the list, including West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks, Connecticut's Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody, Marquette's Lazar Hayward, Georgetown's Greg Monroe, Villanova's Scottie Reynolds.
A 6-8 sophomore from Trelawny, Jamaica, Samuels was the seventh-leading freshman scorer ever at Louisville, averaging 11.8 points last season. He ranked 11th in the BIG EAST in blocked shots (1.3), was seventh in field goal percentage (.578) and grabbed 4.9 rebounds a game. A member of the BIG EAST All-Rookie team, his 51 dunks were the second most ever in a single season at U of L.
Samuels is also among 50 preseason candidates for the 2009-10 John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy. He totaled 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots in the Cards' 80-68 exhibition game victory over Georgetown College on Oct. 28.
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 2009-10 college basketball season. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2010 NCAA Men's Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind.
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.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.