Duke freshman Jayson Tatum was named one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Awards when the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced the list Wednesday afternoon.
Tatum is one of two freshmen on the list of 10 finalists and one of four ACC players to make the cut. He was recently named to the midseason watch list for the Wayman Tisdale Award, presented to the national freshman of the year.
The St. Louis native has been a force since returning from injury on Dec. 3, leading Duke in both steals (1.6) and blocks (1.4) while ranking second on the team in both scoring (16.1) and rebounds (6.9). He has scored in double figures in all but one of his 14 games in a Duke uniform, cracking the 20-point mark on three occasions.
He ranks second among ACC freshmen in both scoring and rebounding for the season. His scoring average of 16.1 points per night is on pace to rank sixth on Duke’s freshman charts.
Tatum had perhaps his best game in a Duke uniform in the Blue Devils’ win at No. 20 Notre Dame on Monday, posting his first career double-double with 19 points and a season-high 14 boards. He was 8-of-14 from the field against the Irish and netted 13 of his 19 points after halftime.
The 2016 Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year, Tatum owns three gold medals as a member of the USA Basketball program.
In March, the list of finalists for the Erving Award will be cut to five and presented to the Hall of Fame’s selection committee, of which Erving is a member. The winner will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show at The Novo by Microsoft in Los Angeles on April 7.
2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award Finalists
- Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
- Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
- Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
- Evan Bradds, Belmont
- Dillon Brooks, Oregon
- Josh Hart, Villanova
- Josh Jackson, Kansas
- Justin Jackson, North Carolina
- Kelan Martin, Butler
- Jayson Tatum, Duke