The Julius Erving Award is given every year to the top small forward in Division I men’s basketball.

Last year, Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura took home the award after averaging 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Here are the top 25 candidates for the award in the 2020 season, according to Andy Katz.

The favorites

1. Jordan Nwora, Jr., Louisville: Nwora returns to the Cardinals after flirting with the NBA draft. The 6-foot-8 junior will be in contention for ACC player of the year and could lead the Cardinals to a top three finish in the conference.

2. Yoeli Childs, Sr., BYU: Childs doesn’t get the national attention he deserves. Maybe he will now. New coach Mark Pope has a tremendous anchor for his first season in Provo.

3. Joshua Langford, Jr., Michigan State: Langford and Aaron Henry will be interchangeable playing both big guard/wings for the Spartans. Langford averaged 15 points per game before a foot injury shelved him in late December. He returns as one of the top players in the Big Ten. 

4. Naji Marshall, Jr., Xavier: Marshall went on a tear during the second half of the Big East schedule. His return to the Musketeers puts them in contention to finish in the top three in the Big East and make the NCAA tournament.

5. Tres Tinkle, Sr., Oregon State: Tinkle will be a contender for Pac-12 player of the year if he can get the Beavers into top third of the league.

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6. Scottie Lewis, Fr., Florida: The Gators are the threat to take down Kentucky, but to do so they will need a banner freshman season from Lewis. He’s capable of pulling it off.

7. Anthony Lamb, Sr., Vermont: The Catamounts have been a dominant regular-season team in the America East due to Lamb’s production. Vermont’s next step will be to take someone out in the NCAA tournament. Lamb is the leader to get that done.

8. Corey Kispert, Jr., Gonzaga: The Zags ultimate glue guy will now have a more featured role. Kispert will expand his game and deliver with more shot opportunities.

9. Nojel Eastern, Jr., Purdue: Eastern is one of the top defenders in the country at his position. He’s also going to become one of the more improved scorers as he gains more responsibility.

10. Rex Pflueger, Sr., Notre Dame: A torn ACL cut short his season in December. But once he’s back on the floor for the Irish, the rest of the ACC won’t forget how impactful he can be in a game.

11. Xavier Sneed, Jr., Kansas State: Sneed has been sneaky good in Manhattan. The Wildcats will rely even more on his production next season, which should help build his national profile.

The contenders

12. Emmitt Williams, So., LSU

13. Kahlil Whitney, Fr., Kentucky

14. Precious Achiuwa, Fr., Memphis

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15. Elijah Hughes, Sr., Syracuse

16. Saddiq Bey, So., Villanova

17. Keyontae Johnson, So., Florida

18. Anfernee McLemore, Sr., Auburn

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19. LJ Figueroa, Jr., St. John’s

20. Teddy Allen, So., Wichita State

21. Nahziah Carter, Jr., Washington

22. Isaiah Livers, Jr., Michigan

23. Josh Green, Fr., Arizona

23. Sandro Mamukelashvili, Jr., Seton Hall

25. Patrick Williams, Fr., Florida State


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