More Preseason Honors for Huskies

The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced its preseason watch list for the Naismith Award Monday and Connecticut was one of five teams with at least two players nominated. Junior forward Alex Oriakhi, sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb and freshman center Andre Drummond represented the No. 4-ranked Huskies.

The Naismith Award is presented annually to the national player of the year.

Lamb, who emerged as a standout sidekick to Kemba Walker as the Huskies marched to the 2011 NCAA national championship, has clearly impressed the preseason pollsters as one o the top players in the nation. Last week Lamb was named to the Associated Press preseason All-American team, after also being named to the preseason All-Big East first team and the Wooden Award preseason top 50.

Oriakhi was an AP All-American honorable mention and is also on the Wooden preseason top 50. The junior forward was a second team preseason All-Big East selection.

Drummond's preseason honors include Big East preseason Rookie of the Year and Big East honorable mention. In addition he was recently named to the preseason watch list for the Wayman Tisdale Award given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to the nation's top freshman.

Walker was a finalist for the Naismith Award last season, when it was won by BYU guard Jimmer Fredette.

Kentucky and North Carolina lead the way with four players on this year's Naismith watch list.

UConn completed its exhibition season Sunday with a victory over C.W. Post. The Huskies open the regular season Friday night (7 p.m., ESPNU) against Columbia at Gampel Pavilion. Fans will want to arrive early for the unveiling of the 2011 NCAA national championship banner, the third for the UConn program – all since 1999.

The entire list of players on the Naismith watch list can be found on our message boards.

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