Atlanta — For the second time in two days, Western Kentucky University men’s basketball player Courtney Lee was recognized as a preseason candidate for one of the sport’s most prestigious honors when the Atlanta Tipoff Club included the senior guard/forward on its preseason candidate watch list for the 2007-08 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T Thursday.
The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its preseason criteria on player performances from last year and expectations for the 2007-08 season. The list does not include incoming freshmen, although those student-athletes will be considered in the first vote in January 2008.
Lee was named one of the preseason top 50 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award Wednesday as well. It’s the second time in as many years that he has been recognized by both organizations prior to the start of competition.
The Indianapolis, Ind., resident is coming off a junior campaign that saw him rank in the top 15 in the Sun Belt Conference in seven different statistical categories en route to earning first-team National Association of Basketball Coaches all-district and all-league honors. He averaged 17.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, shooting a Sun Belt-best 84 percent at the free-throw line while hitting 47.2 percent of his shots overall including 40.1 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Lee was also credited with 57 assists, 45 steals and 23 blocks.
The 12th player in school history to score 1,500 points, Lee ranks among the top five all-time on the Hill in free-throw percentage, steals, three-point field goals and percentage from beyond the arc. He is also 20th in steals and 23rd in three-pointers in the SBC record books.