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ATLANTA (Feb. 24, 2010) – Evan Turner is among the 30 finalists for the Naismith Trophy, given annually to college basketball’s player of the year.

Just three months into the college basketball season, several programs are vying for supremacy as the top team in the nation.  The same can be said for the 30 student-athletes looking to win the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T after the midseason team was announced Wednesday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.  The Big East conference has seven players on the list, followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with six. Two schools, Kansas and Kentucky, are represented by two players apiece.

The top 30 midseason men’s list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season.

The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the men’s college basketball player of the year. This year, the award will be presented at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis.

“While several candidates have begin to separate themselves there are a number of whom still can win the esteemed Naismith Trophy,” said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president.  “The exceptional talent level across the country has greatly elevated college basketball which makes for an outstanding finish to such a tremendous season.”

As a presenting sponsor since 2005, AT&T has set the standard in fan participation in determining this year’s winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results – more than any other national college basketball award. 

Beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers – and sports fans on other wireless networks – will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice.  Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 3, 2010. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. Standard messaging rates apply.

“AT&T is proud to equip these avid college basketball fans with the ability to vote for what’s sure to be one of the most notable recognitions in these student-athletes’ lives,” said Jamie Kerr, senior manager, AT&T National Sponsorships. “We’re looking forward to hearing which deserving player the fans choose to take home this prestigious honor.”

CBS Sports’ “AT&T at the Half” features a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch, highlighting the men’s players in contention for the coveted award who have distinguished themselves throughout the season. On March 21, CBS will announce the four Naismith Trophy finalists during its first-round coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

2010 Naismith Men’s Mid-Season Candidates

Last, First, School, Position, Class
Aldrich, Cole, Kansas, Center, Junior
Aminu, Al-Farouq, Wake Forest, Forward, Sophomore
Anderson, James, Oklahoma State, Guard, Junior
Babbitt, Luke, Nevada, Forward, Sophomore
Booker, Trevor, Clemson, Forward, Senior
Bouldin, Matt, Gonzaga, Guard, Senior
Butler, Da’Sean, West Virginia, Forward, Senior
Collins, Sherron, Kansas, Guard, Senior
Cousins, DeMarcus, Kentucky, Forward, Freshman
Downey, Devan, South Carolina, Guard, Senior
Dyson, Jerome, Connecticut, Guard, Senior
Fredette, Jimmer, BYU, Guard, Junior
Harangody, Luke, Notre Dame, Forward, Senior
Hayward, Gordon, Butler, Guard/Forward, Sophomore
Hummel, Robbie, Purdue, Forward, Junior
James, Damion, Texas, Guard/Forward, Senior
Johnson, Wesley, Syracuse, Forward, Junior
Jones, Dominique, South Florida, Guard, Junior
Landesberg, Sylven, Virginia, Guard, Sophomore
Lawal, Gani, Georgia Tech, Forward, Junior
Lucas, Kalin, Michigan State, Guard, Junior
Monroe, Greg, Georgetown, Center, Sophomore
Pullen, Jacob, Kansas State, Guard, Freshman
Reynolds, Scottie, Villanova, Guard, Senior
Samhan, Omar, Saint Mary’s, Center, Senior
Scheyer, Jon, Duke, Guard, Senior
Turner, Evan, Ohio State, Guard/Forward, Junior
Varnado, Jarvis, Mississippi State, Forward, Senior
Vasquez, Greivis, Maryland, Guard, Senior
Wall, John, Kentucky, Guard, Freshman