The Stanford Cardinal are widely represented on the 2020-21 preseason award watch lists, most notably on the list announced Thursday, the Naismith Trophy Watch List.
Forward Oscar da Silva and freshman forward Ziaire Williams were named to the 50-man preseason watch list for the most coveted individual trophy in basketball.
The Naismith Trophy is awarded annually to the top men’s and women’s collegiate basketball players. And is, of course, named after the great Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball.
Dayton’s Obi Toppin is the most recent award winner on the men’s side while Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu won it on the women’s side last year.
da Silva and Williams are at two ends of the spectrum in terms of experience as Williams has yet to play a collegiate basketball game while da Silva is a two-time All-Pac-12 member and has started 73 career games. da Silva’s honors also include a 2020 NABC All-District second-team selection, Pac-12 Player of the Week and becoming the 48th member of the Stanford Cardinal 1,000-point club.
Williams is the highest-rated recruit in Stanford program history and was the cornerstone piece to the highest-rated recruiting class in the Pac-12. He was a five-star prospect by all the recruiting services and the second-ranked small forward in the class. He’s a McDonald’s All-American, Jordan Brand Classic, Nike Hoop Summit and Iverson Classic representative from 2020 and is by far one of the best high school basketball players to come out of California in the state’s history.
“Ziaire has all of the tools to make an instant impact at Stanford and beyond. He has excellent size, length, and athleticism. He has the unique ability to score on all three levels, and his versatility as a defender is elite. The cool part about this is Zy fits into our culture perfectly. His character, intelligence, and enthusiasm for the direction of this program is exactly what we look for in the recruiting process. I was really excited about the future of the program before Ziaire signed, and he is another piece to the puzzle for us. We are motivated to get to work.” – Jerod Haase
The duo represent one third of the Pac-12’s representatives on the Naismith Trophy Watch List, joining Remy Martin from Arizona State, Evan Mobley from USC, Chris Smith from UCLA and McKinley Wright IV from Colorado on the list.
Congratulations, Oscar & Ziaire!