Naismith Player of the Year 2014: Breakdown and Predictions for Award Finalists

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Naismith Player of the Year 2014: Breakdown and Predictions for Award Finalists
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Nick Johnson, Doug McDermott, Jabari Parker and Russ Smith as its four finalists for the 2014 Naismith Men's College Player of the Year award.

“This year’s talented finalists have entertained us this entire season and will continue to showcase their leadership and abilities during the tournament,” said Jamie Kerr, director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships, in the press release.

(Well, at least three of the four will continue to impress us in the tournament. Sorry, Duke.)

Awarded annually to the best player in the game, this will be the 46th installment of the Naismith Award. These four star athletes are looking to be added to a list that contains such legendary names as Lew Alcindor, Pete Maravich, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Ralph Sampson, Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan.

Recent winners of the Naismith Award include Trey Burke, Anthony Davis, Jimmer Fredette, Blake Griffin, Tyler Hansbrough and Evan Turner.

Truly, the winner will be joining some elite company.

The finalists will convene with a whole host of writers and photographers in Atlanta on April 6 to learn who has won this year's award. It will also serve as a harbinger for the following week's presentation of the Wooden Award, as those two awards have gone to the same player in each of the past 18 seasons.

On the following slides, we've ranked the finalists in ascending order of their likelihood of winning the 2014 Naismith Award.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are courtesy of ESPN.com or KenPom.com (subscription required).

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