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Jones III one of five Tisdale Award finalists
Saturday, Feb 26, 2011
By Staff    

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (BP)--Baylor men's basketball freshman Perry Jones III is one of five players selected as a finalist for the 2011 Wayman Tisdale Award, the U.S. Basketball Writers Associated announced Feb. 25.

The Wayman Tisdale Award will be presented to the men’s National Freshman of the Year at a gala banquet April 11 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. The winner will be announced April 1 at the USBWA Awards Breakfast in Houston in conjunction with the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

Jones III is joined by four other finalists – Texas’ Tristan Thompson, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Kentucky teammates Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight. Jones III leads all Big 12 freshmen in scoring (14.1), field goal percentage (56.3) and minutes played (33.05). He has scored in double figures in 24 games this season, including 15 straight and all 13 conference games. The Duncanville, Texas, product has six 20-point games - the most by a Baylor freshman since LaceDarius Dunn in 2007-08.

The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU's Chris Jackson won the inaugural award. Other previous award winners include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber. The 2010-11 season marks the first year the award has been named in Tisdale’s honor.

The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. The April 11 banquet, hosted by ESPN's Fran Fraschilla, will also honor Dick Vitale as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award. A permanent Tisdale Award will be on display at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

The late Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.

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