Garrison Brooks, Caleb Love Named to Naismith Watch List

Tar Heels one of nine teams with multiple player of year candidates
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The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the 2021 Naismith Trophy Watch List. The Naismith Trophy is given to the top player in college basketball.

North Carolina is one of nine teams with multiple players on the watch list.

Senior forward Garrison Brooks was named to the watch list. Brooks averaged 16.8 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds last year. He was named the ACC preseason Player of the Year for this season.

Freshman guard Caleb Love was also named to the list. The McDonald’s All-American is expected to take over as point guard for the Tar Heels this season.

UNC has had three players win the Naismith Award—Michael Jordan in 1984, Antawn Jamison in 1998 and Tyler Hansbrough in 2008. The Tar Heels are one of four teams—along with Duke, Virginia and UCLA—to have three winners.

Gonzaga leads the 50-player watch list with four players included on the list, followed by Duke, which has won more Naismith Trophies (8) than any other school. Seven schools have two players represented include Baylor, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, North Carolina, Stanford and Villanova. Overall, the ACC and Big Ten top the list, each with eight players represented, while the Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC are close runners-up with six candidates on the watch list.

“The beginning of the season is filled with excitement, optimism and anticipation as each team and every player is undefeated, making the race for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy wide open. While these 50 candidates are those to keep an eye on, there will be plenty of others who will enter the competition throughout the season,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “This year will be especially exciting as players who were unable to finish their seasons last year have even more to prove.”

A list of the midseason 30 team will be released in early February, followed by the 10 national semifinalists and four finalists on March 4, 2021, and March 16, 2021, respectively. Players who do not make the watch list are still eligible to be selected for the midseason 30 team. The 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy will be awarded during the Final Four at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 4, 2021.

“As we sponsor the collegiate honor for the first year, Jersey Mike’s is excited to partner with the Naismith Trophy,” said Rich Hope, chief marketing officer, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “We look forward to following these stellar athletes throughout the season and honoring one of these talented players as the winner of the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy.”

2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Men’s Preseason Watch List


Joel Ayayi Jr. G Gonzaga WCC

Scottie Barnes Fr. G Florida State ACC

Charles Bassey Jr. C Western Kentucky C-USA

B.J. Boston Fr. F Kentucky SEC

James Bouknight So. G UConn BIG EAST

Garrison Brooks Sr. F North Carolina ACC

Greg Brown Fr. F Texas Big 12

Jared Butler Jr. G Baylor Big 12

Marcus Carr Jr. G Minnesota Big Ten

Terrence Clarke Fr. G Kentucky SEC

Kofi Cockburn So. C Illinois Big Ten

Jalen Crutcher Sr. G Dayton A-10

Cade Cunningham Fr. G Oklahoma State Big 12

Oscar da Silva Sr. F Stanford Pac-12

Ayo Dosunmu Jr. G Illinois Big Ten

Marcus Garrett Sr. G Kansas Big 12

Luka Garza Sr. C Iowa Big Ten

Collin Gillespie Sr. G Villanova BIG EAST

Kellan Grady Sr. G Davidson A-10

A.J. Green Jr. G Northern Iowa MVC

Sam Hauser Sr. F Virginia ACC

Aaron Henry Jr. F Michigan State Big Ten

Matthew Hurt So. F Duke ACC

Trayce Jackson-Davis So. F Indiana Big Ten

Jalen Johnson Fr. F Duke ACC

Keyontae Johnson Jr. F Florida SEC

David Johnson So. G Louisville ACC

Corey Kispert Sr. F Gonzaga WCC

Isaiah Livers Sr. F Michigan Big Ten

Caleb Love Fr. G North Carolina ACC

Sandro Mamukelashvili Sr. F Seton Hall BIG EAST

Remy Martin Sr. G Arizona State Pac-12

Caleb Mills So. G Houston AAC

Evan Mobley Fr. F USC Pac-12

Wendell Moore Jr. So. F Duke ACC

Yves Pons Sr. G Tennessee SEC

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl So. F Villanova BIG EAST

Colbey Ross Sr. G Pepperdine WCC

Fatts Russell Sr. G Rhode Island A-10

Javonte Smart Jr. G LSU SEC

Chris Smith Sr. G UCLA Pac-12

Jalen Suggs Fr. G Gonzaga WCC

MaCio Teague Sr. G Baylor Big 12

Drew Timme So. F Gonzaga WCC

Oscar Tshiebwe So. F West Virginia Big 12

Trendon Watford So. F LSU SEC

Trevion Williams Jr. F Purdue Big Ten

Ziaire Williams Fr. F Stanford Pac-12

McKinley Wright IV Sr. G Colorado Pac-12

Marcus Zegarowski Jr. G Creighton BIG EAST