Andrew Bogut was presented the Naismith Trophy from Cingular Wireless Chief Marketing Officer Marc Lefar (left) and Atlanta Tipoff Club Chairman Jim Williams (right).
April 3, 2005
ST. LOUIS - Andrew Bogut continued a busy weekend of attending award ceremonies Sunday night in the host city of the NCAA Men's Final Four.
The Ute sophomore center was announced as the 2005 Naismith Men's Player of the Year presented by Cingular, the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I Men's Player of the Year, and the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year at the NABC "Guardians of the Game" Awards Show, which took place at the Millennium Hotel in downtown St. Louis.
Over the course of the weekend, Bogut also won the national player of the year awards from Chevrolet/CBS Sports, the United States Basketball Writers Association and the Associates Press.
Atlanta Tipoff Club Chairman Jim Williams and Cingular Wireless Chief Marketing Officer Marc Lefar presented the Naismith Trophy to Bogut. The other Naismith Trophy finalists were Chris Paul of Wake Forest, J.J. Redick of Duke and Wayne Simien of Kansas.
Bogut was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors--a collection of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country--and, for the first time, the fans. This year, through text messaging, fans accounted for an unprecedented 25% of the Board of Selectors' overall vote.
"This is tough giving three speeches in one night," joked Bogut when announced as the winner of the Naismith Trophy.
"I'd like to thank the staff, coaches and my teammates from Utah for this," Bogut continued. "Without my teammates giving me the ball, I wouldn't be standing here."
The Melbourne, Australia, native drew chuckles from the audience when he quipped, "It was tough practicing for me as a kid between wrestling crocodiles and chasing kangaroos."
Bogut led Division I with 26 double-doubles in 35 games this season. He was second in rebounding at 12.2 per game and fourth in field goal percentage at 62 percent. He averaged 20.4 points per game (15th in the nation) and 2.3 assists while playing 35 minutes. He was the leading vote-getter on the AP's All-America first team.
The Utes finished 29-6, won the Mountain West Conference regular season title and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Kentucky.
The 20-year-old Bogut averaged 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds last summer in Athens for the Australian Olympic team.
A consensus first team All-American, Bogut announced last Monday that he would forego his final two seasons at Utah and enter the NBA draft. He's expected to be one of the top picks in June.
Bogut has two more award ceremonies to attend next weekend. He will be honored once again at the Naismith Awards banquet on Friday in Atlanta. Bogut will then head to Los Angeles, where he is one of five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award to be presented on Saturday.