Kelly Olynyk, Doug McDermott Highlight Naismith Top 30

Belmont Athletics

The Naismith Top 30 has been named and mid-majors received a lot of love for the best among its ranks.

The field for the Naismith Award was narrowed to the top 30 candidates Tuesday and the mid-major ranks are well represented.

Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk and Creighton's Doug McDermott are among the handful of favorites for the award, but the list of mid-major honorees doesn't stop with the best known names.

Also making the list is Bucknell's Mike Muscala, who has quietly been dominating games in the Patriot League all season. His counting stats are certainly impressive with 19.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists per game, while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor. But also impressive are his non-counting stats, like his rebounding percentages, and block percentages that have him as one of the 10 best players in the country according to Ken Pomeroy. He has the Bison on the verge of its third-straight Patriot title.

Murray State's Isaiah Canaan, perhaps one of the most versatile guards in the game, is another of the headliners. His Ohio Valley opponent Ian Clark is probably a surprise candidate for many. Clark averages 18.4 points per game while shooting 54.5 percent from the floor, and leading the Bruins to the top of the conference in Belmont's first season in the OVC. He has a chance to help his team win four conference titles in a row.

Other mid-major candidates are St. Mary's Matthew Dellavedova and South Dakota State's Nate Wolters, both top playmakers in their leagues.

The list of finalists will be narrowed to the four leading candidates on March 24. Over the next several weeks, we will take a look at each of the leading candidates for the award.

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