CEDAR CITY, Utah, March 7 - Southern Utah University's Nick Robinson has been named a finalist for the 2013 Joe B. Hall award, which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I college basketball.

Robinson, who came to SUU late last spring from Louisiana State, has led the Thunderbirds to an 11-17 overall record and an 8-10 mark in Big Sky Conference play with two games to go. He inherited a team that lost three starters and four players overall from last year's squad and the Thunderbirds have gone on to lose two of their top four scorers during the season. 

"It's an honor to be considered a finalist for the Joe B. Hall award," Robinson said. "Being a part of SUU basketball is a privilege and most of the credit should go our hard-working student athletes, the coaching staff, our fans and our administration."

The award is named in the honor of Joe B. Hall who was given the task of following the legendary Adolph Rupp. In his first season at the University of Kentucky, Hall finished 20-8, won the SEC and advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals.

The other nine finalists for the award include Kevin Baggett (Rider), Jamion Christian (Mount St. Mary's), Mike Martin (Brown), Bashir Mason (Wagner), Dan Muller (Illinois State), Kevin Ollie (Connecticut), Jack Perri (LIU-Brooklyn), Richard Pitino (FIU) and Travis Williams (Tennessee State).

"This is an outstanding group of coaches," said CollegeInsider.com's Kyle Macy who played for Coach Hall and is on the voting panel for the award. "These coaches are the future of the game. It's an outstanding group."

This is the second year for the award, which was won by Murray State's Steve Prohm last year.

The 2013 recipient will be announced on April 5 at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.

- SUU -