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Dec. 18, 2008

ATLANTA – South Carolina junior guard Devan Downey has been named to the 2008-09 preseason Naismith Trophy Watch List, as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Thursday. The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its selection on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2008-09 college basketball season.

The Big East Conference placed 11 candidates on the watch list, followed by the ACC with seven. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Pacific 10 (PAC-10) each placed six. North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough won the award last season.

Through the first eight games of the 2008-09 campaign, Downey leads the Gamecocks with 20.0 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 steals per contest. He has led Carolina in points in the last five games, while his mark of seven steals against Princeton and NC Central marks the best single-game performances in the SEC this season.

The watch list does not include incoming freshmen, although those student-athletes will be considered in the first vote in February 2009. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Detroit, Mich.

“The talent level across all conferences continues to impress, and that will create an even greater challenge for our voting academy when it comes time to select the winner in April,” said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. “And we look forward to this special season, our 40th anniversary of the most prestigious trophy in all of college basketball.”

For the sixth-consecutive season, presenting sponsor AT&T will once again set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year’s winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25% of the final results – more than any other national college basketball award. At the beginning of February, CBS’ “AT&T at the Half” will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention.

In February, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its early season list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March.

Other notable Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s player of the year.

Last Name First Name Year Position School
Abrams A.J. Sr. Guard Texas
Adrien Jeff Sr. Forward Connecticut
Akognon Josh Sr. Guard Cal. St. Fullerton
Blair DeJuan So. Forward Pittsburgh
Brockman Jon Sr. Forward Washington
Brown Derrick Jr. Forward Xavier
Budinger Chase Jr. Forward Arizona
Calathes Nick So. Guard/Forward Florida
Clark Earl Jr. Guard/Forward Louisville
Collins Sherron Jr. Guard Kansas
Collison Darren Sr. Guard UCLA
Cummard Lee Sr. Guard Brigham Young
Curry Stephen Jr. Guard Davidson
Downey Devan Jr. Guard South Carolina
Dozier Robert Sr. Forward Memphis
Ellington Wayne Jr. Guard North Carolina
Gibson Taj Jr. Forward Southern California
Griffin Blake So. Forward Oklahoma
Hansbrough Tyler Sr. Forward North Carolina
Harangody Luke Jr. Forward Notre Dame
Harden James So. Guard Arizona State
Henderson Gerald Jr. Guard/Forward Duke
Heytvelt Josh Sr. Forward Gonzaga
Hudson Lester Sr. Guard University of Tennessee-Martin
Hummel Robbie So. Forward Purdue
James Dominic Sr. Guard Marquette
James Damion Jr. Guard/Forward Texas
Jerrells Curtis Sr. Guard Baylor
Lawal Gani So. Forward Georgia Tech
Lawson Ty Jr. Guard North Carolina
Maynor Eric Sr. Guard Virginia Commonwealth
Mayo Josh Sr. Guard Illinois-Chicago
McAlarney Kyle Sr. Guard Notre Dame
McClinton Jack Sr. Guard Miami
McNeal Jerel Sr. Guard Marquette
Mills Patrick So. Guard Saint Mary’s
Moore E’Twaun So. Guard Purdue
Morgan Raymar Jr. Forward Michigan State
Ogilvy A.J. So. Center Vanderbilt
Pargo Jeremy Sr. Guard Gonzaga
Patterson Patrick So. Forward Kentucky
Price A.J. Sr. Guard Connecticut
Reynolds Scottie Jr. Guard Villanova
Rice Tyrese Sr. Guard Boston College
Smith Tyler Jr. Forward Tennessee
Steele Ronald Sr. Guard Alabama
Thabeet Hasheem Jr. Center Connecticut
Vaden Robert Sr. Guard/Forward Alabama-Birmingham
Wilkinson Gary Sr. Forward Utah State
Young Sam Sr. Forward Pittsburgh