Smith named CLASS finalist

Senior center Andrew Smith of the men’s basketball team has been named one of 10 finalists for the sport’s 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award.

The award is given to seniors who have excelled in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition.

The acronym CLASS stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School.

Smith said Butler has equipped him well in balancing classwork and basketball.

“It really helps for me to go to a school like Butler,” Smith said. “They just kind of set you up for success in the classroom and on the court as well.”

Smith is a finance major and carries a 3.55 grade point average as an honor student.

“It’s all about time management,” Smith said. “Fortunately, we have guys like Matt Howard. He was a finance major as well.

“He kind of took me under his wing and kind of gave me the ability to help me with what classes to take and teachers to take, and he really helped me manage my time and figure out how to be a successful student-athlete.”

Smith was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District V Team last month and has previously been named to the Butler Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll.

Coach Brad Stevens said the Senior CLASS Award ranks among the highest honors a college player can receive.

“As a senior, to me, there are probably two recognitions that you can really look at nationally that are ones that we really value,”  Stevens said. “That’s being named one of the Senior CLASS finalists because of all that it entails when it considers and takes into account character and community service, and certainly academic achievement and achievement on the court.”

This is the third consecutive season a Butler player has been a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.

Smith joins former Bulldogs Howard—a finalist in 2011—and Ronald Nored (2012) as finalists for the award.

“It means a lot to me to be in the same category as them as far as this award, and I’m glad to be able to represent Butler and this team,” Smith said.

Stevens said it has not been tough to bring in players that are just as talented academically as they are athletically.

“I don’t think that’s the difficult part,” Stevens said. “These guys are ambitious guys. They want to do well on and off the court.
“Andrew’s always been a good student and certainly has really found his niche in the School of Business and what he wants to do after school is over and after his playing career is over.”

Voting is underway, and fans can vote on the Senior CLASS Award website or the Senior CLASS Award Facebook page until March 25.

Fan voting makes up one-third of the total vote.  NCAA Division I coaches and national media account for the remaining two-thirds.

The winner of the Senior CLASS Award will be revealed at this year’s Final Four in Atlanta in April.

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