Loaded Field of Julius Erving Award Finalists Led By Ben Simmons, Denzel Valentine

by February 03, 2016

Today’s “college basketball top-10 for a major award” list comes via the Julius Erving Award, which honors the top small forwards in all of college hoops. Like the Bob Cousy Award and the Jerry West Award, this honor will be distributed on April 8 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, and the final five people up for the trophy will earn the opportunity to meet the award’s namesake. Here are the 10 finalists.

  • DeAndre Bembry, St. Joseph’s
  • Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
  • Dillon Brooks, Oregon
  • Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
  • Brandon Ingram, Duke
  • Roosevelt Jones, Butler
  • Damion Lee, Louisville
  • Wayne Selden, Jr., Kansas
  • Ben Simmons, LSU
  • Denzel Valentine, Michigan State

Of the three lists of finalists that we’ve had so far, none of them have had as many big names as the Erving Award. Of course, Simmons is the guy everyone knows, as he came into this year as the No. 1 recruit in the nation and he’s the favorite to be selected with the top pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. But he may not necessarily be the favorite for this honor, as that could go to Michigan State’s all-everything forward, Valentine.

Even beyond those two, everyone from Ingram (who has been outstanding for Duke and very well could be Simmons’ biggest competition for the Draft’s No. 1 spot) to Bembry (who has done everything for St. Joe’s this year) have arguments for why they deserve the honor. Not only does the Erving Award have the biggest names on its list, but it may also be the hardest one to pick a winner.