Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike is Nai­smith Tro­phy fi­nal­ist

The Kansas City Star - - Sports - BY GARY BEDORE [email protected]­star.com Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

Kansas se­nior cen­ter Udoka Azubuike is one of five fi­nal­ists for the Cit­i­zen Nai­smith Tro­phy, the At­lanta Tipoff Club an­nounced Tues­day.

Other fi­nal­ists for the award, which rec­og­nizes the most out­stand­ing men’s col­lege bas­ket­ball player: Myles Pow­ell (Se­ton Hall), Pay­ton Pritchard (Ore­gon), Luka Garza (Iowa) and Obi Top­pin (Day­ton).

Azubuike, 7-foot from Delta, Nige­ria was the only player in the Big 12 Con­fer­ence to av­er­age a dou­ble-dou­ble (13.7 points and 10.5 re­bounds per game) dur­ing the 2019-20 sea­son.

He led NCAA Di­vi­sion I in field goal per­cent­age at 74.8% and com­pleted his ca­reer as the NCAA leader in field goal per­cent­age (74.4%). He topped the old record of 74% by Cen­tral Florida’s Tacko Fall.

KU’s Danny Man­ning (1988) and Frank Ma­son (2017) are past Jay­hawks who’ve won the award.

Fans can vote for their fa­vorite fi­nal­ist from March 20 to April 1 at nai­smith­fan­vote.com or on the @Nai­smithTro­phy Twit­ter page. The fan vote will ac­count for 5% of the over­all vote. The 2020 Cit­i­zen Nai­smith Tro­phy win­ner will be an­nounced on April 1.

“He is a mon­ster,” KU coach Bill Self said re­cently of Azubuike, call­ing him “the best post in Amer­ica.

“He is a guy that I’m sure some­body else in Amer­ica has one, but there’s not many.”

Udoka Azubuike

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