Big Ten Places Six Players on Preseason Naismith Watch Lists
Illinois' Frank Williams garners third-most votes among men's basketball players
Park Ridge, IL - The Big Ten Conference landed six basketball standouts among the top 30 preseason candidates for the 2001-02 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Awards. Five student-athletes were honored on the men's side in Illinois' Frank Williams, Indiana's Jared Jeffries, Iowa's Reggie Evans and Luke Recker and Michigan's LaVell Blanchard. Purdue's Shereka Wright was named to the women's list.
On the men's side, the Big Ten led all conferences with players selected from four different teams, while the five total selections rated second behind only the ACC's six picks. Illinois' Williams, the 2001 Big Ten Player of the Year, finished third in total votes for the preseason list, trailing only top vote-getter Jason Williams of Duke and Casey Jacobsen of Stanford. In addition, Iowa was one of only six teams to place two or more players on the prestigious list, joining Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky and Maryland.
Three Big Ten players were named finalists for the 2001 Naismith Player of the Year Awards in Michigan State's Charlie Bell and Jason Richardson and Purdue's Katie Douglas.