Mar 17, 2020 2:21 PM

KU's Azubuike named a Naismith Trophy finalist

Posted Mar 17, 2020 2:21 PM

ATLANTA – Kansas senior center Udoka Azubuike has been named one of five finalists for the 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy, recognizing the most outstanding men’s college basketball player, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.

Azubuike is one of three senior finalists along with Myles Powell (Seton Hall) and Payton Pritchard (Oregon). Junior Luka Garza (Iowa) and sophomore Obi Toppin (Dayton) round out the Naismith Trophy finalists. Azubuike is vying to be the third player from Kansas to bring home the award, joining former Jayhawks’ winners Danny Manning (1988) and Frank Mason III (2017).

Azubuike, from Delta, Nigeria, led Division I in field goal percentage at 74.8%, which helped his career percentage of 74.4% break the all-time Division I field goal percentage record of UCF’s Tacko Fall (74.0%). Azubuike led the Big 12 in rebounding (10.5 rpg) and double-doubles (15) and was second in the conference for blocked shots at 2.6 per game. A unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection who was named Big 12 Player of the Year, Azubuike was the only player in the conference to average a double-double (13.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg).

Top-ranked Kansas went 17-1 in conference play, the most league wins in Big 12 history, and 28-3 overall.

By visiting naismithfanvote.com, from March 20-April 1, 2020, fans will be able to cast their ballot for their favorite finalist. Fans may also vote on the @NaismithTrophy Twitter page between March 25-April 1, to select one of the finalists. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall vote. The 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy is scheduled to be announced on April 1, 2020, and the winning player will be awarded with the Citizen Naismith Trophy. The award ceremony will be held on a later date.

Udoka Azubuike Career Honors

2019-20: Naismith Trophy Finalist (1 of 5); Led the nation in field goal percentage (74.8%); Big 12 Player of the Year (B12, AP); All-Big 12 First Team (B12, AP); Big 12 All-Defensive Team; Sporting News All-America Second Team; USBWA All-District VI; Bleacher Report All-America Second Team; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalist (1 of 5); Wooden Award Ballot (1 of 15); Academic All-Big 12 First Team; 3x Big 12 Player of the Week (1/27, 2/10, 2/24); Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List (1 of 12); Maui Invitational Co-MVP & All-Tournament Team; NABC Player of the Year Watch List (1 of 20); Preseason All-Big 12; Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year

Academic All-Big 12 First Team [2018-19]; Preseason All-Big 12 HM [2018-19]; All-Big 12 Third Team [2017-18]; Academic All-Big 12 Second Team [2017-18]; Led the nation in field goal percentage (77.0%) [2017-18].

Kansas Athletics

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Mar 17, 2020 2:21 PM
Jayhawks finish No. 1 in Coaches’ Poll

LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second time in program history, the Kansas men’s basketball team has finished the season No. 1 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ Poll as the Jayhawks were top-ranked in the final poll of the 2019-20 campaign. KU was also the top-ranked team following its 2008 NCAA National Championship.

Traditionally, the Coaches’ Poll is released following the NCAA Tournament but with this year’s global pandemic and the event being canceled, the poll was released March 16. Kansas received 29 of a possible 32 first-place votes and outdistanced No. 2 Gonzaga, 795-760, in the cumulative votes.

The Coaches’ Poll began in 1989-90 and Kansas has been ranked in 562 polls, including 318 under head coach Bill Self. KU has been in the poll each of the last 228 consecutive weeks which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I.

Kansas’ No. 1 ranking marks the 66th time the Jayhawks have been ranked atop in the Coaches’ Poll, including 35 under Self. KU was ranked No. 1 the final four weeks, five times total, of the 2019-20 season.

Kansas Athletics