Tuesday February 12, 2008

Cast a Vote for a CLASS Act

Senior guard Brian Roberts is one of 10 men's basketball players named a finalist for the 2007-08 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.

University of Dayton senior guard Brian Roberts is one of 10 men's basketball players named a finalist for the 2007-08 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.

CLASS stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. Started during the 2001-02 season, the award honors the attributes of college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university through their final season of eligibility.

This is the fourth national award for which Roberts has been named a finalist. The others are the Los Angeles Athletic Club's John R. Wooden Award (top player nationally), the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Naismith Trophy (top player nationally) and the Basketball Hall of Fame's Bob Cousy Award (top point guard).

Only Roberts and Virginia's Sean Singletary appear on all four lists.

Fans can vote on the 10 Lowe's award finalists online through March 21. Fan votes will be figured in with votes from coaches, media and sponsors.

Lowe's, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, will award the winners with trophies during the respective men's and women's NCAA Final Four weekends.

The award was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who now serves as its honorary chairperson, and was inspired by? former Duke University basketball player Shane Battier. Battier could have been a high NBA draft pick, but he returned to college for his senior season and led the Blue Devils to the national championship in 2001.

Previous winners of the men's award include Juan Dixon of Maryland (2002), David West of Xavier (2003), Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph's (2004), Wayne Simien of Kansas (2005), J.J. Reddick of Duke (2006) and Alando Tucker of Wisconsin (2007). Last year's women's winner was Duke's Alison Bales.

"These young men and women are outstanding student-athletes who deserve recognition for their achievements on the court and off the court," said Bob Gfeller, Lowe's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising. "The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award is dedicated to honor senior collegians that are making an impact on others with their talents."

Roberts, a 2004 graduate of Toledo St. John's High School, has continued to excel on the court as Dayton's top scorer and playmaker. This season, Roberts leads the Flyers with 18.7 points and 3.6 assists per game. He was named preseason first-team All-Atlantic 10. He was the winner of last year's John L. Macbeth Scholar-Athlete award, and is the only Flyer basketball player to be named all-conference and academic all-conference in the same season.

Dayton is 16-6 overall, and 4-5 in the A-10. The Flyers are back at UD Arena for a pair of home games against Duquesne (7 p.m. ET, Wednesday) and Temple (4 p.m. ET Saturday).

Doug Hauschild at 937-229-4390.