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UM's Isaiah Livers, MSU's Aaron Henry named to Naismith Trophy watch list

The Detroit News

Michigan’s Isaiah Livers and Michigan State’s Aaron Henry racked up another preseason honor by being named to the Naismith Trophy watch list, which was released Thursday.

The annual honor, first awarded in 1969, recognizes the top college basketball player in the country.

Isaiah Livers

Livers and Henry are both the returning top scorers on their respective teams. Livers averaged 12.9 points, four rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21 games last season as a junior, while Henry averaged 10 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 30 games as a sophomore.

The two were among 50 players to make the list and among the eight representing the Big Ten, along with Minnesota’s Marcus Carr, Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu, Iowa’s Luka Garza, Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Purdue’s Trevion Williams (Detroit Henry Ford Academy).

Aaron Henry

Gonzaga had the most candidates with four — Joel Ayayi, Corey Kispert, Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme — followed by Duke with three — Matthew Hurt, Jalen Johnson and Wendell Moore.

A midseason list of 30 players will be released in early February, before 10 semifinalists and four finalists are announced on March 4, 2021, and March 16, 2021, respectively. The winner will be honored during the Final Four on April 4, 2021. 

Livers and Henry were also named to the Julius Erving Award watch list, which recognizes the nation’s top small forward.

Livers and the Wolverines will tip off the season on Wednesday at home against Bowling Green (4 p.m./ESPNU), while Henry and the Spartans will host Eastern Michigan on the same day (6 p.m./BTN).

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