Blackmon Jr., Bryant named to Naismith Trophy watch list

  • 11/10/2016 10:23 am in

Indiana junior James Blackmon Jr. and sophomore Thomas Bryant have been named to the 50-player preseason watch list for the 2017 Naismith Trophy, which honors the top player in college basketball.

Blackmon Jr. and Bryant are two of 10 Big Ten players on the list, joining Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin), Caleb Swanigan (Purdue), Miles Bridges (Michigan State), Peter Jok (Iowa) and Melo Trimble (Maryland).

The mid-season watch list of 30 players will be announced in early February.

Indiana’s last Naismith Trophy winner was Calbert Cheaney in 1993. Victor Oladipo was a finalist for the award in 2013.

Scott May also won the award in 1976, the same year the Hoosiers went undefeated and won their third national championship.

In addition to being named to the Naismith watch list, Bryant is also a first team preseason All-American by the Blue Ribbon yearbook and a member of the 10-man preseason All-Big Ten team as voted on by the media. Blackmon Jr. is also on the preseason All-Big Ten team.

Additionally, Bryant is on the preseason watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award and Blackmon Jr. is on the preseason watch list for the Jerry West award.

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  • Fifer39

    Good news, but no OG? Isn’t he the top draft prospect in the B1G?

  • adam

    cant they add players to the list mid season if they feel it necessary to do so?

  • John D Murphy

    Yes they can and do.

  • John D Murphy

    Congratulations on the well deserved accolades.

  • sarge

    I agree John, these players and the coaching staff earn the recognition they are receiving.

  • Piker

    Maybe they pick these guys from last years stats….not expectations.

  • Fifer39

    Not sure, there’s freshmen on the list. If OGs not in the top 50 players then we’re in for one heck of a college bball season. There’s not many even on the B1G list that I’m taking before him though.

  • I think OG is on such a different level that it isn’t fair to include him.


  • Piker

    Yeah I saw that but lost a freshman argument on another award post so I laid off the freshman award bashing this time. So these guys that pick the 50 must use high school stats and the hype they read about that freshman but ignore the hype about OG why?? Guess it must be his last year stats. That’s the way I was going with this one. It’s crazy. OG has a real good chance to be the best IU guy let alone beating out the others on this list.

  • Spooky

    I think we have 4-5 young men that could be on the Naismith watch list 😉

  • I am Baby Cakes

    Gonna need a lot of this tomorrow night. Maybe not the banking part unless they can call it.

  • Fifer39

    I remember the argument! I don’t have a problem with freshmen being in the list – it’s a projection about who the best player(s) might be so I’m fine with that. Like you I just don’t get OGs omission when most analysts have him as a lottery pick next year. How that doesn’t translate into inclusion in a top 50 list (however early and meaningless it actually is anyway) is baffling!