February 26, 2013

Ian Clark Candidate for 2013 Naismith Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball senior Ian Clark (Memphis, Tenn.) has been named candidate for the 2013 Naismith Men's College Player of the Year award presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.

This comes one day after Clark was named finalist for the 2013 Lou Henson Award, presented annually to the top mid-major player in college basketball.

Clark, who scored 18 points in victory over Ohio Feb. 23 in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters to become the Bruins' NCAA era career scoring leader, has compiled one of the most impressive resumes in program history.

A three-time All-Atlantic Sun Conference selection, Clark has earned national honors from CollegeInsider.com, including 2010 Mid-Major Freshman All-America and 2012 Mid-Major Defensive All-American.

The Memphis, Tenn. native has started 128 games in his Belmont career, scoring in double figures 97 times. The 6-3 guard has been named OVC Player of the Week four times this season and was a Preseason All-OVC selection.

Moreover, Clark has ranked in the Top 10 nationally in three-point field goal percentage and three-point field goals per game since season's inception, and is third among all NCAA guards in field goal percentage.

Belmont (22-6, 12-2 OVC) is 98-31 in Clark's three-plus seasons in a Bruin uniform, including back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2011 and 2012.

This marks the first time in the NCAA era of Bruin Athletics that a Belmont University student-athlete has been named candidate for a national player of the year award (Joe Behling was named 1989 NAIA National Player of the Year).

The top 30 candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances to this point in the 2013 men's college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the list to four finalists. The Naismith Men's College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 7, 2013 in Atlanta.

For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting will open to fans on Monday, March 25. Naismith Trophy presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate.

Notable Naismith Trophy alumni include a pair of three-time winners in Bill Walton (1972, 73, 74) and Ralph Sampson (1981, 82, 83), Michael Jordan (1984), Kevin Durant (2007) and last year's winner, Anthony Davis of Kentucky. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's best player.

For a complete list of the Top 30 candidates for the 2013 Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Award, log onto www.naismithawards.com.