Basically, Russ Smith is one of 12 finalists for a national Player of the Year award. That's what's happening here.
Here's the release:
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected 12 outstanding players for its 2013 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List. Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac.
The award is to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 15 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.
Teammates from Indiana and Kansas headline the watch list that includes four Big Ten players. Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are joined by fellow Big Ten standouts Trey Burke of Michigan and Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State. The pair of Jayhawks named to the list are Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey. Big East standouts Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse and Russ Smith of Louisville join ACC star Mason Plumlee of Duke as players who were also recognized.
A pair of Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week from this season are featured as well: Doug McDermott from Creighton and Burke. Also, two natives of Canada, UNLV's Anthony Bennett and Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, were selected. Overall, the list is balanced by class with two seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen appearing.
Following is the complete watch list:
|2013 OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY MIDSEASON WATCH LIST|
|F||15||Anthony Bennett, UNLV||6-8||240||Fr.||Brampton, Ont.|
|G||3||Trey Burke, Michigan||6-0||190||So.||Columbus, Ohio|
|G||1||Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse||6-6||185||So.||Hamilton, Mass.|
|F||3||Doug McDermott, Creighton||6-8||225||Jr.||Ames, Iowa|
|G||23||Ben McLemore, Kansas||6-5||195||Fr.||St. Louis, Mo.|
|G||4||Victor Oladipo, Indiana||6-5||214||Jr.||Upper Marlboro, Md.|
|F||13||Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga||7-0||238||Jr.||Kamloops, B.C.|
|F||5||Mason Plumlee, Duke||6-10||235||Sr.||Warsaw, Ind.|
|G||2||Russ Smith, Louisville||6-0||165||Jr.||Brooklyn, N.Y.|
|F||1||Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State||6-7||215||Jr.||Fort Wayne, Ind.|
|C||5||Jeff Withey, Kansas||7-0||235||Sr.||San Diego, Calif.|
|F||40||Cody Zeller, Indiana||7-0||240||So.||Washington, Ind.|
|By conference: Big Ten (4), Big 12 (2), Big East (2), ACC (1), Missouri Valley (1), Mountain West (1), West Coast (1).|
By class: Seniors (2); Juniors (5); Sophomores (3); Freshmen (2)
Just like we all predicted.