When the Jerry West Award watch list came out on Tuesday with no Big East players to be found, we were quite perplexed.
After all, Villanova’s Josh Hart was a finalist for the award last season.
On Wednesday, however, our fears were extinguished. Hart, Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett, and Butler’s Kelan Martin all found themselves on the Julius Erving Award watch list. The Erving Award is given to the nation’s top small forward.
Hart was the leading scorer and second-leading rebounder for the national champion Wildcats last season and was named the Big East Preseason Player of the Year at Big East Media Day.
Bluiett led the Musketeers in scoring en route to one of their best seasons in school history last season.
Martin burst onto the scene last season and is the Big East’s leading returning scorer, averaging 15.7 points per game last season.
Of course, there’s an argument that none of the three are technically small forwards, but defining positions in college basketball is becoming harder and harder by the day.
Other notable players on the list include: Jayson Tatum (Duke), Justin Jackson (North Carolina), Jared Blossomgame (Clemson), Dillon Brooks (Oregon), Markus McDuffie (Wichita State), and others.