Courtesy of our friends at the Atlanta Tipoff Club:

ATLANTA (Nov. 7, 2011) – With 10 players from four different universities, The Southeastern Conference (SEC) leads the 2011-12 Naismith preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. This year’s list includes the top men’s college basketball players from 34 schools around the country.

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 2012 college basketball season. The Naismith Trophy will be awarded at the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four in New Orleans.

Two teams – UNC and Kentucky – boast four players each on the list, while three schools – Connecticut, Ohio State and Vanderbilt – each have three players. The list represents 14 different athletic conferences and features 28 upperclassmen and 22 underclassmen.

“Between conference realignments, rule changes and an incredible amount of talent at the college level this year, the 2012 Naismith Player of the Year is truly anybody’s for the taking,” said Eric Oberman, Atlanta Tipoff Club executive director. “We’re excited to be a part of such an historic year in college basketball and look forward to crowning the best player in college basketball in April.”

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.  

Other notable Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and last year’s winner, Jimmer Fredette. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s player of the year.

2011-12 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List:

Abromaitis Tim Notre Dame GS F
Barnes Harrison     North CarolinaSOF
Barton        WillMemphisSoG
Beal        BradleyFloridaFrG
Buford       WilliamOhio StateSrG
Craft     Aaron Ohio StateSoG
Davis      AnthonyKentuckyFrF
Denmon        MarcusMissouriSrG
Drummond      AndreConnecticutFrC
Ezeli     Festus VanderbiltSrC
Gibbs      AshtonPitt Sr G
Glover      MichaelIonaSrF
Gordon      Drew New MexicoSrF
Green    DraymondMichigan StateSrF
Green  JaMychalAlabama SrF
Hardaway Jr.  TimMichiganSoG
Harris      EliasGonzagaJr F
Henson        JohnNorth CarolinaJrF
Holloway    TuXavierSrG
Hummel   Robbie PurdueSr F
Jackson      JoeMemphisJrG
Jenkins        JohnVanderbiltSoG
Johnson     OrlandoUC Santa BarbaraSrG
Johnson‐Odom  Darius MarquetteSrG
Jones III       PerryBaylorSoF
Jones       TerrenceKentuckySoF
Jones       Kevin West VirginiaSrF
Joseph        KrisSyracuseSrF
Kidd‐Gilchrist MichaelKentucky FrF
Lamb      JeremyConnecticutSoG
Marshall       KendallNorth CarolinaSoG
McCallum       RayDetroitSoG
McDermott         DougCreightonSoF
Middleton       KhrisTexas A&MJrF
Miller       QuincyBaylorFrF
Nelson        ReevesUCLAJrF
Nicholson      AndrewSt. BonaventureSrF
Oriakhi        AlexConnecticutJrC
Rivers        AustinDukeFrG
Robinson        ThomasKansasJrF
Ross        TerrenceWashingtonSoG
Shurna         JohnNorthwesternSrF
Siva        PeytonLouisvilleJrG
Smith        JoshuaUCLASoC
Sullinger        JaredOhio StateSoC
Taylor        JordanWisconsinSrG
Taylor        JefferyVanderbiltSrG/F
Teague        MarquisKentuckyFrG
Young        PatricFloridaSoF/C
Zeller        TylerNorth CarolinaSrF