College basketball: Hall of Fame award watch lists down to 10 finalists
Each year the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame presents the top players at each position with an award named after a past NCAA legend. What started as 20-man preseason watch lists are now down to 10 finalists for each position, with just two months left in the season.
The watch lists will be further narrowed to five players at each position in March, followed by the announcement of each winner in April. Below are the updated watch lists, which were released throughout the week:
Bob Cousy Award
The award for the top point guard in the nation gets its name from a Holy Cross standout and six-time NBA champion as a member of the Boston Celtics. Cousy played at Holy Cross from 1947-50 and led the Crusaders to an NCAA title in his final season.
The 10 finalists for the 2016-17 award are:
|Monte Morris||Iowa State|
|Frank Mason III||Kansas|
|Joel Berry II||North Carolina|
|Dennis Smith Jr.||North Carolina State|
Jerry West Award
The man behind the NBA logo silhouette, Jerry West was a two-time AP All-American at West Virginia and scored nearly 25 points per game for the Mountaineers from 1957-60 as an elite shooting guard.
It's a stacked list of finalists at the two-guard spot this season. Here are the 10 finalists:
|James Blackmon Jr.||Indiana|
|Steve Vasturia||Notre Dame|
Julius Erving Award
Erving averaged more than 20 points and 20 rebounds in his career in Amherst for the Massachusetts Minutemen from 1968-71. Known for his graceful dunks and iconic hair, Erving was a scoring machine at every level — NCAA, ABA, NBA — and was a four-time MVP.
A mixture of thriving underclassmen and experienced seniors top this year's list of finalists. Here are the top 10 small forwards:
|Dwayne Bacon||Florida State|
|Justin Jackson||North Carolina|
Karl Malone Award
The best power forward in the nation will take home the Malone Award, named after the Louisiana Tech star (1982-85) who led the Bulldogs to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 1985 -- a Sweet 16 run.
Malone averaged 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game over three seasons before taking his talents to the NBA where he built a Hall of Fame career in Utah and Los Angeles.
Here are the 10 finalists:
|Miles Bridges||Michigan State|
|Bonzie Colson||Notre Dame|
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award
Basketball may be trending more toward small ball, but that won't stop this year's elite group of centers from dominating down low.
Abdul-Jabbar astoundingly won three NCAA championships under John Wooden's 1960s UCLA dynasty. Add in his six NBA championship rings, and Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most decorated and dominant big men at both the college and professional level.
Here are the 10 finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award:
|Jock Landale||Saint Mary's|
|Josh Hawkinson||Washington State|
UCLA leads the way with four players represented among the five watch lists. Gonzaga and Kansas each add three of their own to the updated editions.