As the countdown to the 2016-17 college basketball season winds to an end, so too does the revealing of preseason watch lists.
One more came out Monday, as the initial list of candidates for the Lute Olson Player of the Year award was disclosed. Six Big Ten players made the list: Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. and Thomas Bryant, Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, Maryland’s Melo Trimble and Iowa’s Peter Jok.
The full preseason watch list can be found here.
The Lute Olson Award, now in its eighth season, goes to the best college basketball player who has played at least two seasons. Therefore, freshman are ineligible for the award.
Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine was named the 2016 recipient, becoming the first Big Ten player to win the honor. The 2017 winner will be announced at the CollegeInsiders.com banquet on March 31.