INDIANAPOLIS - The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced that Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham is one four finalists for the 2021 Naismith Trophy.
The 2020 Naismith High School Trophy winner, Cunningham is looking to join Shane Battier as the only players to win both the Naismith prep and collegiate honors. The Arlington, Texas native would be the first Naismith Trophy winner in OSU history, and the first Cowboy to win a major player of the year award since Bob Kurland won that honor from Sporting News in 1946.
The other finalists are Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu, Iowa’s Luka Garza and Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert.
Just this week, Cunningham was named a First Team All-American by the NABC, the Associated Press, the United States Basketball Writers Association and the Sporting News. He is just the fourth player in Big 12 history to sweep the Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards.
Cunningham led the Big 12 in scoring at 20.2 points per game, and is also on the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award and is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. He is a nine-time recipient of the Big 12 Player and/or Newcomer of the Week honor, which is the most by any player this year and the most in school history.
The Naismith finalists emerged from a group of 10 semifinalists and were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding on-court performances during the 2020-21 college basketball season.
The next round of voting runs from March 19-31, with the winner being announced live on CBS Sports Network’s NCAA March Madness 360 studio show on April 3.
Fans will have a say in who wins the top honor by participating in the Naismith Awards Fan Vote by visiting naismithfanvote.com from March 19-31.
Cunningham and the No. 11/12 Cowboys earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and will open play against No. 13 seed Liberty at 5:25 p.m. CT on TBS.