On Friday afternoon, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced their preseason watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabar, given annually to the best center in the nation, and Micah Potter of the Wisconsin Badgers made the cut. Potter joins Nate Reuvers and D’Mitrik Trice on these preseason watch lists.
A full season of Micah Potter?— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) November 6, 2020
Yes, please... count us in!
Congrats to @BigJam_23 on being named to the #KareemAward Center of the Year Watch List!
Info → https://t.co/rpKJtLe9DD pic.twitter.com/t7yg7YHi9S
In the six-year history of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, two Badgers have taken home the honor, most recently Ethan Happ in 2019 and Frank Kaminsky in 2015 as the inaugural winner.
Per a UW press release:
When the time came for Potter to suit up for the Badgers, the Ohio State transfer was ready. Emerging as one of the most valuable reserves during Big Ten play last season, Potter averaged 10.9 points, 6.9 rebounds while shooting 54.2 percent (46.9% 3FG) in just 18.9 minutes per game.
In fact, Potter put together one of Wisconsin’s better seasons from an efficiency standpoint in the past 25 years. Per 40 minutes of action, he averaged 22.8 points and 14.1 rebounds per game. That trailed only Alando Tucker (24.3 ppg/40), Ethan Happ (23.2 ppg/40) and Sean Mason (23.0 ppg/40) for UW since 1996-97.
There are four other Big Ten centers on the list including Kofi Cockburn of Illinois, Luka Garza of Iowa, Liam Robbins of Minnesota and Trevion Williams of Purdue. Former Purdue big man, who transferred to BYU, Matt Haarms is also on the watch list. With Happ winning in 2019 and Garza winning last year, the B1G is on a two year streak of claiming this award and if you add Kaminksy’s win then the B1G has won half of these awards all time.