Knecht One of 10 Naismith Player of the Year Semifinalists

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NASHVILLE, TN - January 27, 2024 - Guard Dalton Knecht #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tennessee Volunteers at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, TN. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics
NASHVILLE, TN - January 27, 2024 - Guard Dalton Knecht #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tennessee Volunteers at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, TN. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

March 15, 2024 – Dalton Knecht of the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team is a semifinalist for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Player of the Year, as announced Friday afternoon.

Knecht is one of just 10 individuals who made the cut. He is also among the 15 players on the John R. Wooden Award National Ballot, as announced Saturday.

A fifth-guard from Thornton, Colo., Knecht is the lone player from the SEC chosen as a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy.

Knecht earned The Sporting News First Team All-America status in unanimous fashion, as announced Tuesday. He also won SEC Player of the Year accolades from both the league’s head coaches and the Associated Press, the latter unanimously.

Entering the postseason, Knecht is averaging 21.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting 47.4 percent from the field, including 40.5 percent on 3-pointers. The Julius Erving Award finalist owns 11 25-point performances, including seven with 30-plus, five with 35-plus and three with at least 39.

The 6-foot-6, 213-pounder became the first player to win SEC Player of the Week four times since Arkansas’ Mason Jones in 2019-20. He also twice earned USBWA National Player of the Week plaudits.

With junior guard Zakai Zeigler named Wednesday as one of 10 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalists, Tennessee is now among just three schools with a player in both lists, including the only one with a different individual on each. Purdue’s Zach Edey and Houston’s Jamal Shead made the cut for both groups.

The four finalists for the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year will be released on March 15 and the winner will be announced April 7 in Phoenix during the Final Four weekend.

Knecht and top-seeded, fifth-ranked Tennessee (24-7, 14-4 SEC) start SEC Tournament play Friday at 1 p.m. ET with a quarterfinal contest against ninth-seeded Mississippi State at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., live on ESPN.

To keep up with the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team on social media, follow @Vol_Hoops on Instagram and X/Twitter, as well as /tennesseebasketball on Facebook.

NAISMITH TROPHY PLAYER OF THE YEAR SEMIFINALISTS
RJ Davis, North Carolina
Zach Edey, Purdue
Kyle Filipowski, Duke
DaRon Holmes II, Dayton
Dalton Knecht, Tennessee
Tyler Kolek, Marquette
Jaedon LeDee, San Diego State
Caleb Love, Arizona
Tristen Newton, Connecticut
Jamal Shead, Houston

Source: UT Sports
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