SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Eastern Kentucky University junior Nick Mayo was one of 20 players named to the 2018 Karl Malone Award Watch List on Thursday, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced. The award is given annually to the top power forward in Division I men’s college basketball.
Mayo is the only Ohio Valley Conference player and one of only five mid-major players on the list.
He is surrounded by high-profile names such as Marvin Bagley III (Duke), Wendell Carter, Jr. (Duke), PJ Washington (Kentucky) and Bonzie Colson (Notre Dame).
Mayo was voted first team All-OVC for the second straight year in 2016-17 after finishing the regular season ranked among the OVC’s leaders in scoring (fifth / 18.5 points-per-game), rebounding (12th / 6.5 rebounds-per-game), assists (15th / 2.8 assists-per-game), blocks (third / 1.4 blocks-per-game), field goal percentage (12th / 50.4%), three-point field goal percentage (12th / 39.0%) and free throw percentage (14th / 77.4%).
The 6-9 forward from Oakland, Maine is on pace to be EKU’s all-time leading scorer after he became the first Colonel ever to reach the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore.
The Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook tabbed Mayo the Preseason OVC Player of the Year in late September.
A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the 20 candidates for the Karl Malone Award Watch List.
The award’s namesake, Karl Malone, attended Louisiana Tech University due to its close proximity to his hometown of Summerfield, Louisiana. He led the Bulldogs to a Sweet 16 appearance and earned All-Southland honors in his three seasons while averaging 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Malone achieved great success during his 19 seasons in the NBA as a 14-time NBA All-Star (1988-98, 2000-02), 11-time All-NBA First Team player (1989-99) and a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He also won two Olympic gold medals (1992, 1996).
“With this award, we have been able to recognize some extraordinarily talented student-athletes in college basketball over the past three seasons,” said Karl Malone, a 2010 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is an honor to be associated with such an award and I hope the young men named to this watch list feel a sense of pride in being recognized for their efforts.”
By mid-February, the Watch List will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2018 Karl Malone Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, California on Friday, April 6.
Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Johnathan Motley, Baylor (2017), Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015). For more information on the 2018 Karl Malone Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
2018 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award Candidates
Nana Foulland Bucknell
Gary Clark Jr. Cincinnati
Marvin Bagley III Duke
Wendell Carter Jr. Duke
Nick Mayo Eastern Kentucky
Yante Maten Georgia
Rokas Gustys Hofstra
PJ Washington Kentucky
Moritz Wagner Michigan
Jordan Murphy Minnesota
Alize Johnson Missouri St.
Bonzie Colson Notre Dame
Mike Daum South Dakota St.
Reid Travis Stanford
Obi Enechionyia Temple
Dylan Osetkowski Texas
Robert Williams Texas A&M
Zach Smith Texas Tech
William Lee UAB
Bennie Boatwright USC