Three of Kentucky's freshmen are among 50 players who have been named to the Naismith Trophy watch list by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, it was announced Thursday afternoon.
Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle and James Young were each included as nominees for the award honoring the nation's top player. The watch list will be trimmed to 30 at midseason and again down to four finalists at the end of the season.
The trio has started all five games for the Wildcats this season. Randle has led the way with a 20.8 scoring average while pulling down 13.6 rebounds per game. The Dallas native has recorded a double-double in every game this season, becoming one of only four players in school history to begin a season with five consecutive.
Young scored a career-high 26 points in his last outing, including five 3-pointers. The Detroit native is averaging 14.2 points.
Harrison is averaging 11.0 points per game while dishing out a team-high 18 assists. He also leads the squad with a .786 free throw percentage.
Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, widely recognized as the inventor of basketball, the first trophy was awarded to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in 1969.
Anthony Davis became UK’s first winner of the award in 2012 after guiding the Cats to their eighth national title. Other winners include: Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Marcus Camby, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan.