Wright, a 6-foot-7 forward from Chicago, Ill., is averaging a team-best 16.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and shooting 59.3 percent from the field. He has seven double-doubles to his credit this season and earned Pacific-10 Conference Player-of-the-Week honors on Nov. 27. He was also selected as the most valuable player at the Maui Invitational.
Wright is joined as a finalist by (in alphabetical order): Shane Battier (Duke), Charlie Bell (Michigan State), Troy Bell (Boston College), Michael Bradley (Villanova), Jarron Collins (Stanford), Joseph Forte (North Carolina), Eddie Griffin (Seton Hall), Brendan Haywood (North Carolina), Casey Jacobson (Stanford), Terence Morris (Maryland), Troy Murphy (Notre Dame), Jason Richardson (Michigan State), Jamaal Tinsley (Iowa State) and Jason Williams (Duke).
The winner will be announced at the Naismith Awards Banquet in Atlanta, Ga., on April 7. The Naismith Awards program, now in its 33rd year, honors the outstanding college basketball player in the United States. The Naismith Board of Selectors features some of the nations's leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators.
Wright and the eighth-ranked Wildcats currently have a 17-6 record (9-2 Pac-10). The squad will next be in action on Thursday, Feb. 15, at No. 24 UCLA. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST and will be televised on Fox Sports Net.