Davis captures Naismith honor

Published April 02, 2012

| Sports Network

Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis was named the winner of the 2012 Naismith Trophy, given to the college basketball player of the year.

Other finalists for the award included Draymond Green (Michigan State), Doug McDermott (Creighton) and Thomas Robinson (Kansas).

Davis averaged 14.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season, leading the Wildcats to a 32-2 season and an SEC regular season championship. Kentucky will play Kansas in the national title game Monday night.

Davis also became the first men's Naismith Trophy winner from the SEC since LSU's Pete Maravich won in 1970. Additionally, Davis joined Kevin Durant (Texas 2007) as the only freshman ever to win the award.

"I'm so proud of Anthony. Here's a guy who's taken the fourth-most shots on our team and yet he's the best player in college basketball. He defers to his teammates," Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. "He bought into our system and basically said, 'Tell me how you want me to play.' He's been the ultimate team player and I couldn't be happier for him."

The award was given by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which is comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. Fan voting accounted for 25 percent of the final tally.

Kansas coach Bill Self was honored Sunday as the Naismith coach of the year. Self joins 1988 winner Larry Brown and 1997 winner Roy Williams as other Kansas coaches to receive the honor.

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