WKU Men’s Basketball: Bassey named to Naismith Award Watch List

ATLANTA WKU Hilltopper Basketball sophomore center Charles Bassey has been named one of 50 national watch list members for the 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year award, as announced Monday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The Naismith Trophy is given annually to the top men’s college basketball player in the nation. The full watch list can be found here: https://goto.ps/36uyUbM

A list of the midseason 30-member team will be released in early February, followed by the 10 national semifinalists and four finalists on March 5 and March 17, respectively.

The 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy will be awarded in the hometown of the Atlanta Tipoff Club during the Final Four at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 5.

Bassey has already been named a Preseason First-Team All-American by both Lindy’s Sports Magazine and Street & Smith’s Basketball Yearbook.

The 6-foot-11, 230-pound center averaged 14.6 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in his first season for the Hilltoppers in 2018-19 while shooting 62.7 percent from the field.

The Lagos, Nigeria, native led Conference USA in double-doubles (17) and ranked in the top 30 nationally in double-doubles, field-goal percentage, blocks per game, total blocks, rebounds per game, defensive rebounds per game and total rebounds while competing as one of the top-10 youngest players in the country.

He became just the second freshmen in the country since 1992 – along with current NBA star Anthony Davis – to average at least 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks while shooting at least 60 percent overall.

Bassey was named a Freshman All-American and became the second player in Conference USA history to win both C-USA Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. He was also named to the All-C-USA First Team, All-Freshman Team and All-Defensive Team.

Bassey has also been named one of 20 national watch list members for the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, given annually to the nation’s top center. He was a top-five finalist for the award as a freshman.

Fan voting is ongoing for the Kareem Award and can be completed daily at the following link: https://goto.ps/BasseyKareemVote

Bassey had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in WKU’s 85-45 exhibition win over Kentucky State on Saturday.

The Hilltoppers open the regular season at home against Tennessee Tech at 7 p.m. CT Tuesday at E.A. Diddle Arena.