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Thursday, July 31, 2014 | Last updated: 12:40pm

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Nick Johnson a finalist for player of the year

SAN DIEGO — Arizona Wildcats junior guard Nick Johnson was named to the final four of the 2014 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year award on Sunday.

Johnson joins Creighton’s forward Doug McDermott, Duke’s forward Jabari Parker and Louisville’s guard Russ Smith on the final list.

Along with leading the Wildcats to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Johnson averages 16.3 points per game and makes 44.4 percent of his shots from the field. He has already been named to the Sporting News and USBWA first-team All-American list.

Parker’s No. 3-seeded Duke team were upset by No. 14-seeded Mercer in the first round of the tournament. Parker, a freshman, averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

McDermott is finishing up his college career as one of the greatest scorers in college basketball history. As of Saturday, he ranked fifth in the all-time NCAA basketball-scoring list with 3,135 points scored. He is 30 points behind former Mississippi Valley State guard Alphonso Ford for fourth place.

McDermott’s No. 3-seeded Bluejays are still in the tournament as of Sunday afternoon. He is averaging 27 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Louisville senior guard Smith is averaging 18.1 points and 4.7 assists per game. His No. 4-seeded Cardinals have reached the Sweet 16 and will play in-state rival Kentucky on Friday.

The winner will be announced on April 6.

— Follow Luke Della @LukeDella


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