Azubuike, Dotson named Naismith Trophy semifinalists
Two Kansas Jayhawks have landed on the 10-man semifinalist list for the Naismith Trophy, given annually to the best individual player in college basketball.
Senior center Udoka Azubuike and sophomore point guard Devon Dotson both were on the updated list released on Thursday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Joining them were players from eight other programs and six other conferences around the country — Duke’s Vernon Carey, Marquette’s Markus Howard, Oregon’s Payton Pritchard, San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn, Dayton’s Obi Toppin, Iowa’s Luka Garza, Seton Hall’s Myles Powell and Maryland’s Jalen Smith.
Candidates for All-American and all-Big 12 honors, Azubuike and Dotson have led the Jayhawks to the No. 1 ranking, a 27-3 record and a 16-1 mark in the Big 12 Conference with one game to play in the regular season.
On Wednesday night, in a 75-66 win over TCU at Allen Fieldhouse, the duo combined for 49 points to help Kansas clinch at least a share of this season’s Big 12 title.
It came as sweet redemption for the two players who were a part of last year’s squad that fell short of that goal, therein snapping KU’s NCAA-record streak of 14 consecutive conference titles.
Dotson currently leads the Big 12 in scoring at 18 points a game and ranks among the team leaders in several other categories, including assists, steals and free throw shooting.
Azubuike, who scored a career-high 31 points on Wednesday night, leads the Big 12 with 14 double-doubles and is averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds on the season, while shooting an NCAA-best 75.1% from the floor.
This list will be pared down to four finalists on March 17 and from March 20 through April 1 fans will be able to vote for the winner by visiting www.naismithtrophy.com/vote to cast their ballot. The fan vote will account for 5% of the overall vote and the 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy will be presented to the winner on April 5 during Final Four weekend in Atlanta.