It truly is watch list season. Kentucky freshman BJ Boston is one of 20 nominees for the Julius Erving Award, given annually to the top small forward in the country by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Boston is one of three SEC players on the list, along with Florida’s Keyonte Johnson and Tennessee’s Yves Pones. He is also one of three freshmen. Here’s the entire list:
- Derrick Alston Jr. (Boise State)
- Jalen Johnson (Duke)
- Wendell Moore (Duke)
- Jayden Gardner (East Carolina)
- Keyontae Johnson (Florida)
- Corey Kispert (Gonzaga)
- Brandon Boston Jr. (Kentucky)
- D.J. Jeffries (Memphis)
- Aaron Wiggins (Maryland)
- Franz Wagner (Michigan)
- Aaron Henry (Michigan State)
- Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers)
- Matt Mitchell (San Diego State)
- Ziaire Williams (Stanford)
- Yves Pons (Tennessee)
- Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech)
- Chris Smith (UCLA)
- Timmy Allen (Utah)
- Jermaine Samuels (Villanova)
- Sam Hauser (Virginia)
Last year at Sierra Canyon, Boston averaged 19.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, helping lead the team to a 30-4 mark and a No. 2 national ranking. He was named the California Male Athlete of the Year and the California Basketball Player of the Year by USA Today. He was also tabbed a First Team Naismith All-American, Second Team Sports Illustrated All-American, SLAM Magazine All-American, California Mr. Basketball and the Gold Coast League MVP and selected to the McDonald’s All American Game, the Allen Iverson Roundball Classic and the Jordan Brand Classic.
The watch list will be narrowed to ten players in mid-February. Five finalists will be revealed in late February with the winner being announced during the annual ESPN College Basketball Awards show on April 9. Fan voting will be a part of all three rounds of voting before a winner is announced.
ICYMI, yesterday, Terrence Clarke was named to the watch list for the Jerry West Award, given annually to the nation’s top shooting guard.