SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Kentucky freshman forward Kevin Knox (pictured) is among the 10 players on the Julius Erving midseason list, announced Wednesday, Feb. 7 by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Erving Award is in its fourth year and is presented to the top small forward in college basketball.
Knox is looking to become the first winner of the award in school history.
In March, five finalists will be presented to the award’s namesake and the Hall of Fame selection committee. The winner of the 2018 Julius Erving Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 6. Players do not have to be on the watch list to win the award until the five finalists are announced. The Hall of Fame announced its original list in October.
The three previous winners of the award include Villanova’s Josh Hart (2017), Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine (2016) and Arizona’s Stanley Johnson (2015).
Knox, a freshman from Tampa, Florida, leads the Wildcats in scoring at 14.9 points per game. He’s reached double-figure scoring in 18 games this season, highlighted by a 34-point output on the road at No. 7 West Virginia to lead UK to a thrilling and historic comeback victory.
The 6-foot-9 forward has a team-high six games of 20 or more points, while also leading the team in rebounding on six occasions. He’s also leads the team with 134 rebounds on the year for an average of 5.6 per game. Knox has also put together a team-high two double-doubles on the year and has drained a team-high 36 3-pointers.
Knox is shooting 44.9 percent from the field, 33.6 percent from 3-point range and 75.2 percent from the charity stipe. In games in which UK has won this season he is averaging 16.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.
The Erving Award is named after Julius Erving, who attended the University of Massachusetts and averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game, making him one of only six NCAA men’s basketball players to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. After two seasons, Erving made the jump to the American Basketball Association and was the league’s most recognizable player when it merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976. During his professional career, Erving won three championships, four most valuable player awards and three scoring titles. In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
The Wildcats are back in action when they travel to Texas A&M on Saturday. The game is set to air live on ESPN at 8:15 p.m. ET.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught