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Kevin Knox one of 30 players on Naismith Trophy watch list

Kevin Knox (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball freshman forward Kevin Knox was one of 30 players named to the late-season watch list Wednesday for the Citizen Naismith Trophy, presented annually to the season’s national player of the year.

Named in honor of James Naismith, the founder of the sport, Anthony Davis is the only Wildcat to have ever won the award when he took home player of the year honors in 2012. Knox is joined by two other Southeastern Conference players in Auburn’s Bryce Brown and Alabama’s Colin Sexton among the list of 30 candidates. Knox and Sexton comprise two of the six freshmen on the list dominated by 20 upperclassmen.

From this list of 30 late-season candidates, 10 semifinalists will be revealed Feb. 28, and only those 10 players are eligible for the group of four finalists, which will be released in mid-March. Fans, once again, will be able to vote for their favorite player by visiting between March 19-30 to cast their ballot, and the fan component counts for five percent of the overall final vote. The 50th Citizen Naismith Trophy will be awarded on April 1 in San Antonio, during the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

Knox has also been selected as a candidate for the Lute Olson Award’s All-America Team, as well as a finalist for the Julius Erving Award, which honors the nation’s top small forward.

Knox, a freshman from Tampa, Florida, leads the Wildcats in scoring at 15.0 points per game. He’s reached double-figure scoring in 19 games this season, highlighted by a 34-point output on the road at No. 7/7 West Virginia to lead UK to a thrilling and historic comeback victory.

The 6-foot-9 forward has a team-high six games of 20 or more points, while also leading the team in rebounding on six occasions. He paces the team with 139 rebounds on the year for an average of 5.6 per game. Knox has also put together a team-high two double-doubles on the year and has drained a team-high 39 3-pointers.

Knox is shooting 45.0 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from 3-point range and 75.5 percent from the charity stipe. In games in which UK has won this season he is averaging 16.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

The Wildcats return to action Wednesday night at top-10-ranked and SEC-leading Auburn. The game is set to air live on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. ET.

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