The four finalists for this year’s Naismith Player of the Year Trophy have been announced. Per a post on the award’s official Twitter, the four are the following: Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis, Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon, and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine.
— The Naismith Trophy (@NaismithTrophy) March 20, 2016
Each candidate is well worthy of the award in their own right. Ulis averaged 17.3 points, seven assists and 1.5 steals per game for Kentucky this season, while Valentine probably could have averaged a triple-double for Michigan State. Brogdon very quietly had a strong season for the Cavaliers, posting 18.6 points per game and shooting 47 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range.
Hield, however, may be the favorite to win the Naismith Trophy. He ranked second in the nation in scoring 25 points per game and proved to be absolutely deadly from anywhere on the floor. Given how Oklahoma is in a position to make a deep tournament run this year while Valentine and Ulis’ teams have already been eliminated, it’s hard to imagine Hield not winning at this point.
Stay tuned to Campus Sports for further updates on the Naismith Trophy!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports