Garcia Named Mid-Season Candidate for Naismith Trophy

Print  LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville junior forward Fransisco Garcia has been named as one of thirty mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, a national award presented annually to the men's and women's players of the year.

The Top 30 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season. The list was narrowed down from the pre-season list of 50 candidates who were announced at the beginning of the season.

Garcia is among the Conference USA leaders in scoring (16.7, 5th), steals (2.1, 6th), blocked shots (1.7, 6th), assists (4.0, 6th), free throw percentage (.844, 8th) and assists-to-turnovers ratio (1.35, 11th). He became the Cardinals' 54th career 1,000-point scorer this season and is currently 33rd all-time at U of L with 1,201 points. A double-figure scorer in 19 games this season, Garcia has twice been named the Conference USA Player of the Week as a junior.

Beginning February 12, CBS' "Cingular at the Half" will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch highlighting the players in contention. These players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March when four finalists for the award are announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors. Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient was Saint Joseph's University guard Jameer Nelson.

Garcia has also recently been named a John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 30 Candidate following a national poll conducted by the John R. Wooden Award Committee. On March 29, the 10 player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Saturday, April 9, 2005 to receive the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year."

The mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Player            Height Class  Position         School
Andrew Bogut       7'0"   So.   Forward/Center   Utah
Josh Boone         6'10"  So.   Forward/Center   Connecticut
Dee Brown          6'0"   Jr.   Guard            Illinois
Taylor Coppenrath  6'9"   Sr.   Forward          Vermont
Travis Diener      6'1"   Sr.   Guard            Marquette
Ike Diogu          6'8"   Jr.   Forward/Center   Arizona State
Raymond Felton     6'1"   Jr.   Guard            North Carolina
Channing Frye      6'11"  Sr.   Center           Arizona
Francisco Garcia   6'7"   Jr.   Forward          Louisville
Ryan Gomes         6'7"   Sr.   Forward          Providence
Joey Graham        6'7"   Sr.   Forward          Oklahoma State
Luther Head        6'3"   Sr.   Guard            Illinois
Julius Hodge       6'6"   Sr.   Guard            North Carolina State
Jarrett Jack       6'3"   Jr.   Guard            Georgia Tech
John Lucas         5'11"  Sr.   Guard            Oklahoma State
Sean May           6'9"   Jr.   Forward/Center   North Carolina
Rashad McCants     6'4"   Jr.   Forward/Guard    North Carolina
Gerry McNamara     6'2"   Jr.   Guard            Syracuse
Chris Paul         6'0"   So.   Guard            Wake Forest
J.J. Redick        6'4"   Jr.   Guard            Duke
Lawrence Roberts   6'9"   Sr.   Forward          Mississippi State
Nate Robinson      5'9"   Jr.   Guard            Washington
Wayne Simien       6'9"   Sr.   Forward          Kansas
Craig Smith        6'7"   Jr.   Forward          Boston College
Salim Stoudamire   6'1"   Sr.   Guard            Arizona
Ronny Turiaf       6'10"  Sr.   Forward          Gonzaga
Hakim Warrick      6'9"   Sr.   Forward          Syracuse
Deron Williams     6'3"   Jr.   Guard            Illinois
Shelden Williams   6'9"   Jr.   Forward          Duke
Kennedy Winston    6'6"   Jr.   Forward          Alabama
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