Nov. 21, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- The Atlanta Tip-Off Club has named University of Wisconsin men’s basketball sophomore forward Sam Dekker to the 50-person preseason watch list for the 2013-14 Naismith Trophy, presented by AT&T.
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 2013-2014 college basketball season. The Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded during the Final Four.
Dekker, who was also named to the Wooden Award Watch List earlier this season, is averaging 16.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 2013-14. He is also shooting 45.5 percent from 3-point range, which ranks 11th in the Big Ten. The Sheboygan, Wis., native tied a career-high, tallying 19 points in a win over North Dakota on Nov. 19, while adding five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a pair of blocks.
An honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection a year ago, Dekker is one of nine Big Ten players on the Naismith Trophy Watch List, the most of any conference. One of four true freshman to start a game under Bo Ryan, Dekker largely played the role of sixth man in 2012-13, shooting 41.8 percent from 3-point range during Big Ten play.
Dekker has started seven career games for the Cardinal and White, and has career totals of 10.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
The Badgers have had two players in school history be named a finalist for the award, Devin Harris in 2004 and Alando Tucker in 2007.
Other notable Naismith Trophy alumni include a pair of three-time winners in Bill Walton (1972, 73, 74) and Ralph Sampson (181, 82, 83), Michael Jordan (1984), Kevin Durant (2007) and last year’s winner, Trey Burke of Michigan. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s best player.