Boynton, Young on Naismith watch list

A pair of Florida Gators basketball players have been named to 2012-13 Naismith Award early season watch list.

Senior guard Kenny Boynton and junior center Patric Young made the list, which includes 50 players and was announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The Gators are 1-0 after defeating Alabama State 84-35 at the O’Connell Center on Sunday. They are one of 10 teams with at least two players on the watch list.

Defending national champion Kentucky and Louisville, which eliminated the Gators in the Elite Eight last season, each have three players on the watch list.

A mid-season watch list comprised of 30 players will be announced in late February and the list will be trimmed to four finalists in March. The winner will be announced during the Naismith Award Banquet, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on March 19 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.

The award began honoring the top men’s college basketball player in 1969 with UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, becoming the first winner. Last season’s winner was Anthony Roberson of Kentucky. No Florida player has even won the award.

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Mike Capshaw brings a wealth of experience to the Gator Country team. He’s been overseeing all editorial aspects of and Gator Country magazine by managing our team of staffers, interns and freelancers. He is now moving into a bigger role as a reporter by covering the football and basketball beats as well as providing coverage of all sports on campus. Mike’s 15 years in the business has included more than six years of covering SEC sports and recruiting at a daily newspaper in Arkansas. He has also helped launch a newspaper, magazines, websites and even a sports talk radio show. Because Mike puts family ahead of his career, he left the place where he was established when his wife received an opportunity to further her career at UF. He took a leap of faith that he could find a job in the Gainesville area and worked for a year at a newspaper group before joining the Gator Country family in November, 2011. Mike has won Florida Press Association awards for Best Sports Game Story and Best Sports Feature Story in the past two years as well as a company-wide award at his former newspaper group that includes some 60 publications, for Excellence in Sports Reporting. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeCapshawGC.