Saturday, 04 February 2017 15:39

Welsh Named To Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Watch List


Welsh has averaged 10.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in 19 games


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – UCLA junior center Thomas Welsh has been named as one of 10 watch list finalists for the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, as announced on Friday by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who starred for the Bruins from 1967-69, this annual honor is in its third year and recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October and has since narrowed the list for just 10 student-athletes.

Welsh has averaged 10.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in 19 games during his junior season at UCLA. The 7-foot center from Redondo Beach, Calif., currently ranks eighth among all Pac-12 players in field goal percentage (56.5%) and is fifth in blocked shots per game (1.7). Most recently, Welsh had 17 points and six rebounds in UCLA’s win at Washington State on Feb. 1.

Welsh has logged six double-doubles this season, scoring a season-high 20 points in the Bruins’ 89-87 loss at Oregon in the team’s Pac-12 opener on Dec. 28.

Joining Welsh on the 10-man midseason watch list for this season’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award are Tacko Fall (Central Florida), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Josh Hawkinson (Washington State), Przemek Karnowski (Gonzaga), Tim Kempton (Lehigh), Jock Landale (Saint Mary’s), Yante Maten (Georgia), Eric Mika (BYU) and Justin Patton (Creighton).

Welsh is one of four UCLA players who have been selected to positional watch lists this week. Lonzo Ball is one of 10 midseason candidates for the Bob Cousy Award (point guard of the year). Bryce Alford is among 10 selections to the midseason watch list for the Jerry West Award (shooting guard of the year), and TJ Leaf has been named to the 10-man midseason watch list for the Karl Malone Award (power forward of the year).

In March, five finalists will be presented to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee for the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. The winner of this year’s award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show live from The Novo by Microsoft in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 7. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year – Midseason Watch List


Player                         School                   Year       PPG     Points     RPG     Rebounds    BPG    Blocks

Tacko Fall                   Central Florida        So.        12.2      269          9.9        218              2.3      51

Ethan Happ                 Wisconsin               So.        14.5      319          9.2        202              1.0      22

Josh Hawkinson           Washington State    Sr.         16.0      351          9.8        216              0.9      20

Przemek Karnowski     Gonzaga                 Sr.         12.5      275          5.4        119              1.0      21

Tim Kempton               Lehigh                    Sr.         20.5      450          10.0      220              1.2      26

Jock Landle                 Saint Mary's            Jr.          16.8      352          9.5        200              1.1      24

Yante Maten                Georgia                  Jr.          19.8      436          7.6        167              1.5      32

Erik Mika                     BYU                       So.        20.8      478          9.6        220              2.0      46

Justin Patton               Creighton                Fr.          14.0      322          6.4        148              1.6      37

ThomasWelsh             UCLA                      Jr.          10.7      204          8.3        158              1.7      33

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