KU, K-State each with finalists for multiple Naismith Awards
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Awards season in college basketball is here as conference tournaments continue across the country. In Kansas City, the Big 12 Tournament and the local schools have featured multiple candidates for various Naismith Awards.
Both Kansas and Kansas State have representatives nominated as two of the 10 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Men’s Semifinalists. Kansas forward Jalen Wilson, who was the Big 12 Player of the Year, and Kansas State forward Keyontae Johnson were each named semifinalists.
Wilson is averaging 19.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while helping the Jayhawks to a presumptive No. 1 seed and a possible Midwest region assignment that would have KU playing second weekend games in Kansas City.
Johnson is averaging 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game for the Wildcats, who are 23-9 after a Thursday night Big 12 Quarterfinals loss to TCU.
On the coaching front, both KU head coach Bill Self and KSU head coach Jerome Tang were named 2023 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year Semifinalists. Self and the Jayhawks are 26-6 following a national championship win in 2022 and the departure of more than 70 percent of their scoring production.
Tang and the Wildcats finished third in the Big 12 after being picked to finish 10th in the conference’s preseason poll.
Purdue center Zach Edey is the overwhelming favorite to win the Naismith Trophy.
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