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Corey Kispert makes Julius Erving Award watch list

The award goes to the top small forward in the nation.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Gonzaga vs Florida State Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga junior Corey Kispert is one of 20 players on the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award watch list.

The Gonzaga winger has been a supplemental player the past two years, averaging eight points and four rebounds per game last season. This year, with the departures of Brandon Clarke, Rui Hachimura, Zach Norvell, Geno Crandall, Jeremy Jones, and Josh Perkins (think I got ‘em all), Kispert is expected to take on a much higher offensive role.

Last season, according to Ken Pomeroy, Kispert saw the least possessions on the team of the starters, and was second to the bottom from Jones. This isn’t much of a surprise. On a team loaded with offensive firepower, Kispert was relegated to glue guy status—hit a three pointer here and there, and flex.

Considering Gonzaga lost approximately 137 percent of its offense from last season, Kispert, as one of the few veterans of the system, will be asked to step up his game.

There are some great players also on the list, so it’ll be a challenge to bring the hardware home to Spokane for the second-straight year. Rui Hachimura won the award last season.

Below is the full list of watch list candidates:

  • Josh Green, Arizona
  • Matthew Hurt, Duke
  • Scottie Lewis, Florida
  • Corey Kispert, Gonzaga
  • Seth Towns, Harvard
  • Xavier Sneed, Kansas State
  • Kahlil Whitney, Kentucky
  • Jordan Nwora, Louisville
  • Precious Achiuwa, Memphis
  • Tres Tinkle, Oregon State
  • Alpha Diallo, Providence
  • Nojel Eastern, Purdue
  • L.J. Figueroa, St. John’s
  • Elijah Hughes, Syracuse
  • Chris Clarke, Texas Tech
  • Anthony Lamb, Vermont
  • Saddiq Bey, Villanova
  • Jaden McDaniels, Washington
  • C.J. Elleby, Washington State
  • Naji Marshall, Xavier