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Three UK players tabbed to preseason Naismith watch list

ATLANTA – Three Kentucky men’s basketball freshmen are among 50 players tabbed to the 2012-13 Naismith early season watch list for player of the year honors it was announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Tuesday. Archie Goodwin, Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress were all selected as candidates to watch for the post season honor.

The 50-player watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based 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.

All three freshmen for the Wildcats started in their first collegiate contest in a 72-69 win for Kentucky on Friday. Goodwin scored 16 points and went 9-for-11 at the free throw line. Poythress posted eight points and snatched seven rebounds. Noel led the Cats in rebounding with nine while adding four points and three blocked shots.

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.

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.

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