Cauley-Stein Named a Candidate for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Willie Cauley-Stein has been named one of the 15 players on the watch list for the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Monday.
Named for Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its first year recognizes the top centers in men's college basketball.
The watch list of 15 candidates was determined by a national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel.
Cauley-Stein, a junior, is averaging 9.4 points - most of any UK frontcourt player - and 6.4 rebounds. The Olathe, Kan., native has recorded 12 double-figure scoring games this season, including a 21-point, 12-rebound performance against then-No. 6 Texas in December. He leads the team with 36 steals and has swatted 39 shots on the year.
The 7-footer is the first player in program history to amass 200 or more career blocks and 100 or more career steals having achieved the feat earlier this season. He's also one of just eight players in program history with 500 or more rebounds, 100 or more blocks, and 75 or more steals.
Cauley-Stein is averaging 14.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.3 steals per 40 minutes this season. He averages 25.5 minutes per game.
By early March, the current list of 15 finalists for the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be narrowed down to five players. The final five players in contention for the award will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The winner of the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented at ESPN's new College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's from Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 10, 2015. The Awards will be televised live on ESPN2 at 8:00pm EST.
Cauley-Stein, along with teammate Karl-Anthony Towns, was named to the 30-player Naismith Trophy Midseason 30 list last week.
For the latest on the Kentucky men's basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.
2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Candidates
Bobby Portis, University of Arkansas
Alan Williams, University of California, Santa Barbara
Josh Scott, University of Colorado
Jahlil Okafor, Duke University
Joshua Smith, Georgetown University
Willie Cauley-Stein, University of Kentucky
Jarell Martin, Louisiana State University
Kennedy Meeks, University of North Carolina
Brad Waldow, Saint Mary's College
Stefan Nastic, Stanford University
Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse University
Jakob Poeltl, University of Utah
Damian Jones, Vanderbilt University
Daniel Ochefu, Villanova University
Frank Kaminsky, University of Wisconsin