Oct. 30, 2009
Senior guards Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher have been named to the Naismith Trophy preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Friday. Randle and Christopher are two of the 19 seniors selected in the 50-player list.
The 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 2009-10 college basketball season. In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2010 NCAA Men's Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind.
Notable Naismith Men's College Player of the Year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and last year's winner, Blake Griffin.
Kansas had three members of its squad on the watch list, while California was one of six schools to have two players listed. Arizona's Nic Wise and Washington's Isaiah Thomas were the other two Pac-10 players on the watch list.
Randle and Christopher both earned All-Pac-10 first-team honors last season. Randle was also recently named a preseason candidate for the Wooden Award. Both players recorded their 1,000th career point in the same game last season.
Cal was picked to win the Pac-10 in the conference preseason poll that came out Thursday. The Golden Bears also earned a preseason rank of No. 12 in the USA Today Coaches poll and No. 13 in the Associated Press poll. It was only the third preseason Top-25 ranking for the Bears (No. 6 in 1993-94, No. 25 in 2005-06).
Cal opens the 2009-10 season against Murray State on Monday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Prior to the home opener, the Bears host Chico State on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.