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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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J'Wan Roberts Named to Karl Malone Award Preseason Watch List

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POSTED: October 26, 2023 -- 1:29 p.m. CT

Entering his fifth season with the Cougars, Houston Cougars senior J'Wan Roberts was honored as one of 20 candidates for the Karl Malone Award Preseason Watch List, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday.

A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the Karl Malone Preseason Watch List.

Fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting in each of the three rounds starting on Friday. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2024 Karl Malone Award will be narrowed to 10, and then in late February, to just five.

In March, the five finalists will be presented to Karl Malone and the Hall of Fame's selection committee, where a winner will be selected.

The winner of the 2024 Karl Malone will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Men's Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Award (Point Guard), Julius Erving Award (Small Forward), Jerry West Award (Shooting Guard), and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (Center), in addition to the Women's Starting Five.

In 2022-23, he more than doubled his scoring output to 10.0 points per game and raised his rebounding average by more than 50 percent to a team-high 7.7 rebounds per contest. He led the Cougars and ranked third in the American Athletic Conference with a 61.3 field goal percentage and was tied for fourth in the league with seven double-doubles.

Helping lead the Cougars to the American Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a 17-1 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the four straight year – a first in program history – Roberts was named the league's Most Improved Player of the Year.

The St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, native also was named to the All-American Athletic Conference Second Team and earned a place on the league's All-Tournament Team after grabbing a career-high 20 rebounds against Memphis in the Title Game.

2023-24 Karl Malone Award Preseason Watch List Candidates

J'Wan Roberts Houston
Enrique Freeman Akron
Grant Nelson Alabama
Keshad Johnson Arizona
Trevon Brazile Arkansas
Fousseyni Traore BYU
Tristan da Silva Colorado
DaRon Holmes Dayton
Kyle Filipowski Duke
Graham Ike Gonzaga
Coleman Hawkins Illinois
Oso Ighodaro Marquette
Julian Reese Maryland
Norchad Omier Miami (FL)
Tolu Smith Mississippi State
Jevon Porter Pepperdine
Bryce Hopkins Providence
Adem Bona UCLA
Alex Karaban UConn
Drew Pember UNC Asheville

* - Players can play their way onto and off the list at any point in the 2023-24 season.

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