INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Junior F Kelan Martin of the Butler Bulldogs is among 20 players named to the watch list for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
Named after Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA All-Star Julius Erving, the annual honor in its third year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
Martin was an All-BIG EAST second team honoree following the 2015-16 season when his 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game ranked seventh and eighth, respectively, in the BIG EAST. He is the BIG EAST’s top returning scorer, and one of only four players who earned first or second team All-BIG EAST accolades in 2015-16 to return for the 2016-17 campaign. Last week, Martin was selected by BIG EAST Conference coaches as a Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team pick.
Martin led the Butler Bulldogs in scoring in 14 games, including a career-high 35 points against Georgetown on Feb. 2, 2016. Martin posted eight double-doubles and 26 double-figure scoring performances on the season, earning BIG EAST Player of the Week honors twice.
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2017 Julius Erving Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles, Calif., on Friday, April 7, 2017. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Previous winners of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016) and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015). For more information on the 2017 Julius Erving Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
The 2016-17 Bulldogs return three starters from last season’s team that finished the 2015-16 campaign with a 22-11 record. Butler opens 2016-17 play Saturday, Oct. 29 with its first of two exhibitions as Wabash College comes to Hinkle Fieldhouse.
2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award Candidates
Evan Bradds, Belmont
Kelan Martin, Butler
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
Terry Larrier, Connecticut
Jayson Tatum, Duke
Dwayne Bacon, Florida St.
OG Anunoby, Indiana
Deng Adel, Louisville
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
VJ Beachem, Notre Dame
Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio St.
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
Tres Tinkle, Oregon St.
Vince Edwards, Purdue
Dikembe Dixson, University of Illinois at Chicago
Kevin Hervey, UT Arlington
Jalen Moore, Utah St.
Josh Hart, Villanova
Markis McDuffie, Wichita St.
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2016-17 season*
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
Chris Fultz is a senior writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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