NC State juniors C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown are among the collegiate players named to the Naismith Early Season Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.
The duo was two of five ACC players on the Naismith’s watch list and NC State was the only league school with multiple representatives on the list.
The 50-player watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which bases its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012-2013 college basketball season. The Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 7, 2013 in Atlanta.
Brown had 15 points and a team-best seven assists in the Pack’s season-opening 97-59 win over Miami of Ohio last Friday. Leslie scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds with three assists and three blocks against the RedHawks.
Both players were preseason All-ACC first-team selections.
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 narrow the list to the four finalists.
Other notable Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year alumni include two three-time winners in Bill Walton and Ralph Sampson, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant and last year’s winner, Anthony Davis of Kentucky. The Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s best player.
Sixth-ranked NC State faces Penn State in the Puerto Rico Classic on Thursday at 5 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcast on the NC State Radio Network.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.