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It’s a Clean Sweep: McDermott Wins Naismith

College basketball doesn’t have an MVP award, but rather a collection of Player of the Year awards given out by various voting blocs and organizations. There’s the Big Four — the AP Player of the Year, the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the Wooden Award, and the Naismith — and numerous others. Sometimes, there’s a player so clearly better than his peers, so obviously the best player in the country, that every group of voters arrive at the same conclusion about who to honor.

In 2013-14, Doug McDermott of Creighton is that player. On Sunday night, he was awarded the Naismith Trophy by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, giving him a clean sweep of every national Player of the Year award. It’s yet another milestone in the unequaled career of Creighton’s greatest basketball player.

That’s something Eric Oberman, the Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, noted on Sunday night. “With Doug you have to reflect not only on the current season but also his entire career to appreciate the full impact he had on college basketball. He’s got all the intangibles to make him a tremendous all-around player, and he showcased those attributes this season. It’s an honor for us to call him a Naismith Trophy winner.”

Unique to the Naismith Award, fans have a say in the winner. McDermott was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, and by fans, who were eligible to vote online from March 24 through April 5.  The fan vote accounts for 25 percent of the vote total.

The award was presented Sunday night in Dallas. Thanks to Creighton University’s YouTube account, here’s video of the award presentation, and Doug’s acceptance speech:

With McDermott sweeping the POY awards, it got me to wondering just how rare — or common — a feat that is. Data for the complete slew of awards is pretty tough to find beyond the past four or five years, and tough to compare because the lesser awards vary year to year, but Wikipedia has a list of winners dating back to 1958-59 when the Oscar Robertson Trophy was first given out. Their table has the six most prestigious awards listed, and according to that list, it’s actually fairly commonplace; since the Wooden Award, the newest of the Big Four awards, began in 1976-77, a clean sweep has happened 19 times out of 38 years, or exactly 50%.

The 19 players to win “consensus” Player of the Year” honors:

  • Jimmer Fredette (2010-11)
  • Blake Griffin (2008-09)
  • Tyler Hansbrough (2007-08)
  • Kevin Durant (2006-07)
  • Kenyon Martin (1999-00)
  • Elton Brand (1998-99)
  • Antawn Jamison (1997-98)
  • Tim Duncan (1996-97)
  • Marcus Camby (1995-96)
  • Glenn Robinson (1993-94)
  • Calbert Cheaney (1992-93)
  • Christian Laettner (1991-92)
  • Lionel Simmons (1989-90)
  • David Robinson (1986-87)
  • Michael Jordan (1983-84)
  • Ralph Sampson (1982-83)
  • Ralph Sampson (1981-82)
  • Larry Bird (1978-79)
  • Marques Johnson (1976-77)

And Doug McDermott is the 20th. Pretty amazing list of players, isn’t it?

The Naismith Trophy is the 13th different honor for McDermott as National Player of the Year this season, joining the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy, the John R. Wooden Award, Lute Olson Award, CBSSports.com, Sporting News, USA Today, NBCSports.com, BleacherReport.com, Basketball Times and Dick Vitale. McDermott also won the Senior CLASS Award on Thursday, which takes into account his work on the court and in the classroom and community.

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