Four SEC players will be playing for some major national recognition as the college basketball season winds down.
LSU’s Ben Simmons, Kentucky guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray and Texas A&M’s Jalen Jones were all listed as midseason finalists for The Naismith Trophy, which goes to the nation’s best player.
— The Naismith Trophy (@NaismithTrophy) February 11, 2016
Of all the SEC players listed, Simmons likely will have the best chance of taking home the hardware. The freshman is averaging 19.4 points, 12.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists while emerging as one of the most versatile players in the country. This may be Simmons’ only shot at winning the award, as he will likely be taken first overall in this summer’s NBA Draft.
Ulis and Murray have been the glue that has held Kentucky together during what many would classify as a down year for the program. The sophomore Ulis has become a leader and is averaging 16.2 points and 6.4 assists this season. Murray, a freshman, has been a lethal shooter at times for the Wildcats and leads Kentucky in scoring with an average of 18.5 points per game.
The last man on the list is certainly not least. Jones has been the catalyst for a team that at one point held the No. 5 ranking Associated Press Top 25. He leads Texas A&M in scoring and rebounding with averages of 16.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.