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Feb. 24, 2010

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today the 30 student-athletes on its midseason list for the Naismith Trophy, the award given annually to the men’s college basketball player of the year by the organization. South Carolina senior guard Devan Downey is one of the 30 candidates.

The top 30 midseason men’s list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season.

The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the men’s college basketball player of the year. This year, the award will be presented at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis.

“While several candidates have begin to separate themselves there are a number of whom still can win the esteemed Naismith Trophy,” said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. “The exceptional talent level across the country has greatly elevated college basketball which makes for an outstanding finish to such a tremendous season.”

As a presenting sponsor since 2005, AT&T has set the standard in fan participation in determining this year’s winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results — more than any other national college basketball award.

Beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers — and sports fans on other wireless networks — will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice. Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 3, 2010. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. Standard messaging rates apply.

“AT&T is proud to equip these avid college basketball fans with the ability to vote for what’s sure to be one of the most notable recognitions in these student-athletes’ lives,” said Jamie Kerr, senior manager, AT&T National Sponsorships. “We’re looking forward to hearing which deserving player the fans choose to take home this prestigious honor.”

CBS Sports’ “AT&T at the Half” features a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch, highlighting the men’s players in contention for the coveted award who have distinguished themselves throughout the season. On March 21, CBS will announce the four Naismith Trophy finalists during its first-round coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The midseason top-30 list is below:
Cole Aldrich, Kansas
Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
James Anderson, Oklahoma State
Luke Babbitt, Nevada
Trevor Booker, Clemson
Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga
Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia
Sherron Collins, Kansas
DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
Devan Downey, South Carolina
Jerome Dyson, UConn
Jimmer Fredette, BYU
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Gordon Hayward, Butler
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
Damion James, Texas
Wesley Johnson, Syracuse
Dominique Jones, South Florida
Sylven Landesberg, Virginia
Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
Greg Monroe, Georgetown
Jacob Pullen, Kansas State
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
Omar Samhan, Saint Mary’s
Jon Scheyer, Duke
Evan Turner, Ohio State
Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State
Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
John Wall, Kentucky