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Przemek Karnowski named finalist for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

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Take a guess which position this goes to.

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Brigham Young Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski made the short list cut for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, an award presented annually to the nation’s top center.

Karnowski is averaging 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the undefeated Zags, but his biggest impact on the floor has been the defensive end. Karnowski has a defensive rating of 87.0, just one of five centers in college basketball to have a DRtg less than 90 while playing more than 20 minutes per game.

All in all, it is a great swan song for the Gonzaga big man, whose season ending back surgery last season almost threatened his basketball career. Karnowski juggled the idea of returning to Europe to play basketball, but ultimately decided to return to Spokane, where he has helped lead the Gonzaga Bulldogs to one of their best seasons in recent memory.

Most impressively, three of the 10 finalists reside in the West Coast Conference, a nice highlight for the other players in the conference. Here is the full list:

  • Eric Mika, BYU
  • Tacko Fall, UCF
  • Justin Patton, Creighton
  • Yante Maten, Georgia
  • Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga
  • Tim Kempton, Lehigh
  • Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s
  • Thomas Welsh, UCLA
  • Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
  • Ethan Happ, Wisconsin