Fresh off Javonte Smart getting some preseason award buzz, sophomore Trendon Watford found himself on the Karl Malone Award watch list, given to the top power forward in Division I men’s basketball.
Watford is coming off a strong freshman campaign in Baton Rouge. Watford made the SEC’s All-Freshman team, averaging 13 points and seven rebounds. Those numbers were put him in the top-20 in scoring, and top-six in rebounding among all players in the conference.
Watford also showed a good shooting touch, making nearly 49 percent of his shots. That also put Watford in the top-six in the SEC. Watford started 30 out of 31 games last season and had seven double-doubles.
Watford is one of 20 power forwards on the watchlist. That group will be trimmed to 10 toward the end of January, and from there five finalists will be announced in February. Previous winners include Dayton’s Obi Toppin, who won this past season, Duke’s Zion Williamson (2019) and Arizona’s Deandre Ayton (2018).
The other members on the watch list are as follows:
- Mark Vital: Baylor
- Aamir Simms: Clemson
- Matthew Hurt: Duke
- Drew Timme: Gonzaga
- Trayce Jackson-Davis: Indiana
- Isaiah Jackson: Kentucky
- Tre Mitchell: Massachusetts
- Garrison Brooks: North Carolina
- Seth Towns: Ohio State
- Brady Manek: Oklahoma
- Hasahn French: Saint Louis
- Sandro Mamukelashvili: Seton Hall
- Oscar da Silva: Stanford
- John Fulkerson: Tennessee
- Greg Brown: Texas
- Kevin Marfo: Texas A&M
- Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: Villanova
- Oscar Tshiebwe: West Virginia
- Nate Reuvers: Wisconsin