Villanova junior guard Jalen Brunson has been named one of four finalists for the 50th presentation of the Citizen James A. Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.
2018 marks the second consecutive year that Villanova has had a finalist for the nation’s preeminent individual basketball award.
Joining Brunson as finalists are Deandre Ayton (Arizona), Marvin Bagley III (Duke), and Devontae Graham of Kansas. It is a list that causally omits Oklahoma’s Trae Young who was the first player since 1983 to end the regular season leading the nation in points (27.5) and assists (8.9) per game.
The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom based their selections on outstanding on-court performances during the 2017-18 college basketball season.
In the past 10 days, Brunson has been named the BIG EAST Player of the Year, All-BIG EAST First Team, one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award,
On the court, Brunson also earned BIG EAST Championship All-Tournament Team honors after averaging 23 points and 3.6 assists in guiding ‘Nova to the tourney title.