As opposed to the finalists of the four major awards we’ve written about this week—the Bob Cousy Award, the Jerry West Award, the Julius Erving Award and the Karl Malone Award—the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award has no clear-cut frontrunners.
Here are the finalists for the nation’s best center:
• Zach Auguste, Notre Dame
• Ben Bentil, Providence
• Joel Bolomboy, Weber State
• AJ Hammons, Purdue
• Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
• Moses Kingsley, Arkansas
• Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville
• Jakob Poeltl, Utah
• Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga
• Josh Scott, Colorado
Trying to pick a favorite for this award, which will be handed out this April in Los Angeles, is really difficult. The three big names on this list—Hammons, Poeltl and Sabonis—have all been outstanding this year, with Sabonis putting up the best numbers of the three, as he’s averaging 17.3 points and 11.5 rebounds a game this year.
Do pay attention, though, to Bentil, who averages 19.7 points and 7.8 rebounds a game for the Friars. And if you’re looking for the most dominant guys, turn to the two mid-major players, as Bolomboy (17.4 points, 13.4 rebounds, 1.3 blocks) and Mockevicius (16.6 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.8 blocks) are having huge years.
Charlotte Hornets big man Frank Kaminsky won the inaugural award in 2015.