James Palmer Jr. has been named to a pair of awards watch lists, the John Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 and the Lute Olson Award Watch List. The 6-foot-6 senior from Upper Marlboro, Maryland is averaging just over 20 points and 1.5 steals per game. According to a press release, Palmer is the first player to be given a nod on the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25. The Wooden Award, named after former UCLA basketball head coach John Wooden, recognizes the best player in college basketball.
The Big 10 has the most selections to the list with seven, followed by the ACC with five. Ultimately, the national ballot will be whittled down to 15 players once voting opens right before the NCAA Tournament is set to begin. The winner will be announced on April 12th during ESPN’s College Basketball Awards.
Palmer is also one of 30 players named on the Lute Olson Award Watch list, awarded to the top division I player. Olson was a former college basketball coach who had head coaching stints with Long Beach State, Iowa, and Arizona. The award will be presented in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Final Four in April.