The NCAA named Duke freshman Zion Williamson, Gonzaga junior Rui Hachimura, Murray State sophomore Ja Morant, and Tennessee junior Grant Williams as the finalists for the Naismith Player of the Year award Tuesday.
Williamson likely stands as the favorite of the group and would become the first freshman to receive the award since Kentucky's Anthony Davis won in 2012. The 6-foot-7 forward has already secured the ACC Player of the Year award after a historic season in which he averaged 22.1 points and 8.9 rebounds while converting on 69.3 percent of his field goals.
Hachimura has developed into one of the nation's brightest collegiate stars, pushing the Bulldogs to a 30-3 mark and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Japanese forward averaged 20.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in 33 games.
Morant's athleticism may have garnered plenty of attention, but it's his ability to score and find open teammates that helped turn Murray State into one of the most surprising teams in the country. The 6-foot-3 star is averaging 24.6 points and 10 assists and led the Racers to their second straight Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title.
Williams provided steady play for Tennessee, leading the Volunteers to a No. 2 seed - tying their highest NCAA Tournament ranking in school history. The 20-year-old forward paced his team in scoring (19.0) and rebounding (7.6) during its 29-5 campaign.
Williamson could become the first Blue Devil to secure the award since JJ Redick in 2006; the other three finalists would be the first in their respective schools' histories.