Gonzaga Bulldog junior forwards Killian Tillie and Rui Hachimura are two of the 50 players named to the Citizen Naismith Award preseason watch list. The Naismith Award goes to the top player in college basketball all year.
Hachimura averaged 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Zags last season, but largely came off the bench. After a big offseason with Team Japan, there are high expectations for the athletic forward.
The same goes for Tillie, although expectations for the Frenchmen’s services are slightly tempered because of his ankle injury. Tillie will probably come back fine, and build off of his 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds from last year. However, he will miss the biggest national games not in the NCAA Tournament on the Gonzaga schedule.
A midseason list will be released on Feb. 13, 2019, followed by the 10 semifinalists and four finalists on March 4 and March 19, 2019. The winner will be awarded during the Final Four.