DePaul's Sammy Mejia on Naismith Trophy List

ATLANTA (Nov. 21, 2006) – Fifty of the nation's best men's college basketball players were named as pre-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the men's and women's players of the year.

The Top 50 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its pre-season criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2006-07 season.

"It's still very early in the process, but there seems to be more parity among this year's pre-season candidates," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "There are just a lot of excellent players on this list. This year's Naismith Trophy winner will continue the tremendous legacy of some of the most outstanding players in college basketball history. Now it's in the players' hands."

Cingular Wireless will continue to set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year's winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25% of the final results – more than any other national award.

"Cingular is proud to continue its support of college athletics and the student-athletes who participate and excel," said Marc Lefar, chief marketing officer of Cingular Wireless. "The Naismith Trophy is one of the highest honors in all of sports and we're excited to continue our partnership with the Atlanta Tipoff Club and allow fans to help select the most outstanding player in college basketball."

In January, the Naismith Trophy Voting Academy will narrow its pre-season list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March. Beginning in mid-February, CBS' "Cingular at the Half" will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention. In April, the Naismith Trophy winner will be recognized at the NCAA Men's Final Four in Atlanta.

The pre-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Name Position School

Lester Abram G Michigan

Arron Affalo G UCLA

De'Angelo Alexander G UNC- Charlotte

Morris Almond G Rice

Corey Brewer F Florida

Coleman Collins F Virginia Tech

JamesOn Curry G Oklahoma State

Jemareo Davidson F Alabama

Glen Davis F LSU

Jared Dudley F Boston College

Nick Fazekas F Nevada

Shan Foster F/G Vanderbilt

Nate Funk G Creighton

Aaron Gray C Pittsburgh

Jeff Green F Georgetown

Taurean Green G Florida

Caleb Green F Oral Roberts

Malik Hairston G Oregon

Adam Haluska G Iowa

Lamont Hamilton F St. John's

Tyler Hansbrough F UNC

Roy Hibbert C Georgetown

Al Horford F/C Florida

Jarrius Jackson G Texas Tech

Dominic James G Marquette

Joseph Jones F/C Texas A&M

Acie Law G Texas A&M

Courtney Lee G/F Western Kentucky

Chris Lofton G Tennessee

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute F UCLA

Josh McRoberts F Duke

Sammy Mejia G DePaul

Randolph Morris F Kentucky

Anthony Morrow G Georgia Tech

DeMarcus Nelson G Duke

Joakim Noah F/C Florida

Richard Roby G Colorado

Brandon Rush G Kansas

Mustafa Shakur G Arizona

Sean Singeltary G Virginia

Ronald Steele G Alabama

Loren Stokes G Hofstra

Curtis Sumpter F Villanova

Kammron Taylor G Wisconsin

Reyshawn Terry F UNC

Al Thorton F Florida State

Alando Tucker F Wisconsin

D.J. White F Indiana

Marcus Williams F Arizona

Julian Wright F Kansas

Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient was Duke University guard J.J. Redick. Other notable men's college player of the year winners include Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Christian Laettner.

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The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club has presented the Naismith Trophy since Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969.


Cingular Wireless is the largest wireless carrier in the United States, serving 58.7 million customers. Cingular, a joint venture between AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and BellSouth Corporation (NYSE: BLS), has the largest digital voice and data network in the nation—the ALLOVER™ network—and the largest mobile-to-mobile community of any national wireless carrier. Cingular is a leader in third generation wireless technology. Its 3G network is the first widely available service in the world to use HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology. Cingular is the only U.S. wireless carrier to offer Rollover®, the wireless plan that lets customers keep their unused monthly minutes. Details of the company are available at . Get Cingular Wireless press releases emailed to you automatically. Sign up at .

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