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