2017 Naismith Award Semifinalists Announced

With the regular season of college basketball winding down to a close, we are getting a clearer picture of who might be named the best player of the season.
Today, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced the list of 10 semifinalists still being considered for the Naismith Award given annually to the NCAA’s most outstanding player.
There seems to be a good deal of consensus among voters, as the Naismith Award semifinalists and the NBC Sports Player of the Year semifinalists are nearly identical.
The semifinalists are:

  • Lonzo Ball, UCLA
  • Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
  • Josh Hart, Villanova
  • Josh Jackson, Kansas
  • Justin Jackson, North Carolina
  • Luke Kennard, Duke
  • Frank Mason III, Kansas
  • Jonathan Motley, Baylor
  • Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
  • Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga

Notable players left off the list include Melo Trimble for Maryland, Josh Jackson for Kansas and Malik Monk for Kentucky.
Kansas is currently the only team with two players on the list for the Naismith Award, a testament to how difficult they will be to defeat in the NCAA Tournament that is around the corner.
As it stands, though, George Mason III appears to be the front-runner for the award as he is finishing the season with a flourish. In his final game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, he led the Jayhawks back from a 12-point deficit and tallied 23 points overall.
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