For the first time in its NCAA era, Belmont has a candidate for national player of the year.
On Tuesday, senior shooting guard Ian Clark was named one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year award. The Bruins last had a nominee in 1989 when Joe Behling was named the NAIA National Player of the Year.
The Memphis native ranks second in the country in 3-point shooting percentage (47.3) and is third among all guards in field-goal shooting percentage (54.5). He leads the Ohio Valley Conference with 89 3-pointers and averages 18.4 points. On Saturday in a win against Ohio, he supplanted Wes Burtner as the program’s all-time NCAA era scoring leader with 1,835 points and counting.
Clark joins Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan as the only OVC players nominated for the award, which was given to Kentucky phenom Anthony Davis last year.
This is the second nomination in as many days for Clark. On Monday, he was named a finalist for the Lou Henson award, which is given to the top mid-major player.
Clark will try to help Belmont (22-6, 12-2) lock up a four straight conference championship and its first OVC title when Southern-Illinois Edwardsville visits on Wednesday.