Purdue seniors JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore were once again recognized as two of college basketball’s elite players on Tuesday when they were named to the preseason watch list for the 2010-11 Naismith Trophy.
The Naismith Trophy, presented by AT&T, is bestowed annually to college basketball’s player of the year. The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors based on player performance from the 2009-10 season and expectations for the 2010-11 campaign.
An Associated Press Preseason All-American and a preseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award, Johnson paced the Boilermakers in rebounds a year ago (7.1 rpg) and ranked third on the team in scoring with a career-best average of 15.5 points per outing. He led the Big Ten in blocks per game in league play (2.0 bpg), and is currently ranked second on Purdue’s career list with 189 rejections.
Johnson spent the summer of 2010 refining his game against the U.S. National Team, traveling to Las Vegas and New York as part of the U.S. Men’s Select Team to help Team USA prepare for its gold-medal winning run at the FIBA World Championships in Turkey.
The Indianapolis native opened the 2010-11 season on Sunday with his 15th-career double-double, finishing with 10 points and 12 rebounds in addition to five blocked shots.
Moore was an honorable mention AP All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2010 after becoming just the third player in program history to lead Purdue in scoring and assists in the same season. The East Chicago, Ind., product started all 35 games for the Boilermakers in 2009-10, ranking sixth in the Big Ten in scoring (16.4 ppg) and ninth in steals (1.5 spg), while pulling down an average of 3.8 boards per contest.
Off the court, Moore became the eighth Purdue player since 1972 to earn Academic All-America honors when he was awarded second team accolades from ESPN The Magazine.
Prior to this season, he was also named to the Wooden Award preseason watch list and teamed with Johnson to make Purdue the only league school with two players on the Preseason All-Big Ten team.
Moore kicked off his 2010-11 campaign with a 16-point, six-rebound effort against Howard, adding three assists without committing a turnover.
In late February, the ATC’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. The Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow the mid-season list to four finalists in March, and the award will be presented at the 2011 NCAA Final Four in Houston.