• Memphis' Adonis Thomas named to 2012-13 Naismith trophy watch list


    ATLANTA, Ga. -- University of Memphis sophomore Adonis Thomas has been named to the 2012-13 Naismith Trophy early season top-50 watch list, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced Tuesday.

    Last week, Thomas was named to the John R. Wooden Award preseason top-50 watch list. In the Tigers' season opener Nov. 12, Thomas had eight points and six rebounds in the 81-66 victory over North Florida.

    Thomas is an early season Naismith Trophy candidate despite only playing in 19 of the Tigers' 35 games last season. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound wing missed the final 16 regular-season games, including 14 Conference USA contests, due to an ankle injury which he suffered in a mid-January practice. He returned to see limited action in the 2012 postseason, averaging 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in only 11.7 minutes in three contests.

    Thomas, a 2012-13 preseason All-C-USA second team pick, averaged 8.8 points and 3.2 rebounds and shot 48.6 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from the arc and 70.8 percent from the free throw line last season. The Memphis, Tenn., native also picked up numerous accolades from preseason publications and websites. CBSSports.com picked Thomas as its preseason Conference USA Player of the Year, while Lindy's, The Sporting News, Athlon Sports and Blue Ribbon College Yearbook all named him to their All-Conference USA preseason squads.

    Prior to the 2011-12 season, Thomas was a candidate for the Wayman Tisdale Award, given annually to the nation's top freshman.

    The 50-player watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012-13 season.

    In late February of 2013, the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top-30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow the list to the four finalists.

    The Naismith Men's College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on Apr. 7, 2013, in Atlanta.

    The Tigers, ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 16 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, return to action Saturday, Nov. 17 against Samford at FedExForum. The contest - which is an opening-round game in the Battle 4 Atlantis - is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (CT) start.


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