Gonzaga Bulldogs’ senior leader Corey Kispert has been named as one of five finalists for the Julius Erving Award. The award goes out to the best small forward in college hoops each year.
Kispert joins Sam Hauser (Virginia), Isaiah Livers (Michigan), Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers), and Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech) as a finalist, but largely should be considered the favorite.
Kispert is the most important piece of the Gonzaga’s highly efficient offense. He is just ever so barely the second-leading scorer on the squad, averaging 19 points per game. Kispert’s true shooting percentage of 69.7 ranks No. 11 in the entire nation. He is shooting 45.7 percent from three and 65 percent from two.
He flirted with going to the NBA Draft last season, ultimately deciding to return in what is probably the smartest decision he has made in his life. Kispert went from an unknown draftee in 2020 to a potential lottery pick in 2021. He has elevated his game in every way for the NBA, and is now in a great position to bring Gonzaga its first national championship in school history.
Kispert is the third Gonzaga player to earn finalist award honors, joining Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi, at their respective positions.