Gonzaga Bulldogs junior big man Killian Tillie was named one of 21 candidates for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. This recognition goes out to the best center in college basketball.
Tillie is the next heir in a long line of stellar Gonzaga frontcourt players. He flirted with the idea of entering the NBA Draft last season, but a late injury (which also kept him out of the Zags Sweet 16 loss to Florida State) pretty much scuttled those ideas.
He returns to Gonzaga after averaging 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Tillie is a versatile player, and he hardly is a traditional center in the vein of the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar winner, Przemek Karnowski.
Tillie’s nomination means the Zags have a player in four out of the five preseason honors, only missing out on the Karl Malone Award for the best power-forward. We can ignore the fact that everyone seems to be sleeping on Brandon Clarke, but having players in four of the five preseason awards is a huge reason why the Zags have so much hype going into the season.