ATLANTA – Tennessee’s Grant Williams earned more recognition for his impressive season Wednesday, being named a 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year Semifinalist by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Williams, who was on the preseason watch list and the midseason team, was one of 10 players across the country selected as a potential recipient of the honor. He ranks in the top 10 of the SEC in scoring (1st), field-goal percentage (2nd), free-throw percentage (3rd), rebounding (5th) and assist/turnover ratio (9th).
Williams, the reigning SEC Player of the Year, has been one of the nation’s most all-around players this year, averaging 19.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. The Charlotte, N.C., native is also shooting 57 percent from the field and an impressive 83 percent from the charity stripe.
So far this year, the junior forward was been tabbed to the John R. Wooden Award Men’s Late Season Top 20 Watch List, the 2018-19 Oscar Robertson Trophy Final Midseason Watch List and was selected as a Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year finalist.
Williams is joined by Kentucky’s P.J. Washington as the only SEC players to make the team.
A list of the four finalists March 19, 2019. The 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy will be awarded on at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 7, 2019, during the Final Four in Minneapolis.
The Naismith Trophy is awarded annually to the women’s and men’s college basketball players of the year. First awarded in 1969 to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Naismith Trophy has become one of the most prestigious national honors awarded each year to the top players in the nation.
Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, the founder of the sport, Tennessee has never had a player win the award.