I feel like I say this every year but when is the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame going to change the name of this award? It’s embarrassing.
Just a couple days after winning his first West Coast Conference Player of the Week award, Graham Ike was named one of the top power forwards in college basketball. Here are the other players that were named a Karl Malone award finalist:
The big leftie has put up spectacular averages of 15.5 PPG on an efficient 61.4 FG% (25th in the nation)/41.7 3PT%/75.0 FT%, 7.0 RPG, and 1.0 APG in 21 starts for Gonzaga this season. Not many big men in the country can seem to body or move with him in the post. Once he gets that positioning, you pretty much already lost the battle.
When he has scored 20+ points this season (which he has done 5 times so far, Gonzaga wins. 5-0. What makes him so trustworthy recently on the floor is his ability to get to the line and actually hit the freebies. Something the entire team has struggled with this season.
He joins Anton Watson as the two Zags who were named one of the top players in their respective positions in the country. The Zags may be having a rough season for Gonzaga’s standards but without these two, it could be a whole lot worse.
Arden Cravalho is a Gonzaga University graduate from the Bay Area... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho