HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University men’s basketball redshirt-senior forward John Brown has been named to the Julius Erving Award Pre-Season Watch List, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday.
Brown is one of 20 initial candidates for the award, given annually to the top small forward in men’s college basketball.
Brown joins an elite group of players on the list that includes Alex Poythress (Kentucky), Ben Simmons (LSU), Wayne Seldon (Kansas), Denzel Valentine (Michigan State) and Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin). He is the only player from a mid-major program to be a part of the watch list.
“As a small forward, Julius Erving excelled at both the collegiate and professional level for nearly thirty years,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Dr. J is one of the most gifted athletes to ever play the game of basketball and it only seems right that this award would bear his name. We thank Mr. Erving’s alma mater, UMass, for their continued support of this award.”
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2016 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2016 Julius Erving Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s from Club Nokia in Los Angeles, Calif., on Friday, April 8, 2016. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Brown enters the 2015-16 season as the nation’s No. 3 returning scorer (1,680 career points) and the NCAA Div. I active leader in field goals made (646). He is just one of two returning players nationally to have posted 1,500 points and 600 rebounds in a career.
A 2014 AP All-America selection and the 2014 Big South Player of the Year, Brown was named to the NABC All-District Team in 2015 for the second-straight season – one of just 22 players nationally to accomplish the feat. That list included Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Seth Tuttle (Northern Iowa) and D’Angelo Harrison (St. John’s).
He was named a finalist for the 2015 Lou Henson Award, given to the nation’s top mid-major player.
One of the most efficient college basketball players in recent memory, his career player efficiency rating (PER) is second-best among the more than 10,000 active Div. I players since 2009.
Brown proved to be one of the most consistent scorers in the nation in 2014-15. The Jacksonville, Fla., native posted at least 10 points in 30-33 games and at least 20 points in 15 contests. He ranked ninth in the country in field goals made (242) in 2014-15 and was 26th nationally in scoring (19.3 ppg) and 32nd in field goal percentage (.550). He averaged 26.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and shot 57.4 percent in High Point’s three postseason contests. Brown led the Panthers in 10 statistical categories, including scoring, field goal percentage, field goals and free throws made, blocks and steals.
He is one of just four Big South players all time to have posted 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 100 blocks, 100 steals and 100 assists in a career.
Arguably the nation’s most electric player, Brown has appeared on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top-10 plays 10 times in his career, and his Feb. 6, 2015 dunk at Coastal Carolina went viral, reaching more than 2.5 million Twitter users. He’s received national recognition from ESPN’s Jay Bilas, Dana O’Neil and Jeff Goodman, as well as NBCSports.com’s Rob Dauster and CBSSports.com’s Matt Norlander. In February 2015, Brown was featured in an in-depth profile by Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn.
Julius Erving attended the University of Massachusetts and averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game, making him one of only six NCAA men’s basketball players to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. After two seasons, Erving made the jump the American Basketball Association and was the league’s most recognizable player when it merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976. During his professional career, Erving won three championships, four most valuable player awards and three scoring titles. In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
“I would like to thank the Basketball Hall of Fame for recognizing these hardworking young men and allowing me to be a part of the process,” said Julius Erving, a 1993 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is no small feat to be selected to this watch list and we are all excited to see how these players progress throughout the season.”
Arizona’s Stanley Johnson won the inaugural Julius Erving Award in 2015.
2015-16 Julius Erving Award Pre-Season Watch List
Jaylen Brown, California
Daniel Hamilton, Connecticut
Rodney Purvis, Connecticut
Brandon Ingram, Duke
John Brown, High Point University
Troy Williams, Indiana
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Kansas
Wayne Seldon, Kansas
Alex Poythress, Kentucky
Damion Lee, Louisville
Ben Simmons, LSU
Jake Layman, Maryland
Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
DeAndre Bembry, Saint Joseph’s
Malik Pope, San Diego State
Michael Gbinije, Syracuse
D.J. Hogg, Texas A&M
Brandon Taylor, Utah
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
About the Panthers: The High Point University men’s basketball team is coming off a record-breaking 2014-15 season that saw the Panthers set new Div. I program records for wins (23), Big South wins (13), road wins (9) and Big South road wins (6). HPU advanced to the postseason for the third-straight year and earned its first ever postseason win with a victory over UMES in the CIT. HPU is the winningest Big South program over the past three years and is one of just six schools nationally to have won a regular season conference title in each of the past three campaigns (Gonzaga, Kansas, Stephen F. Austin, Davidson, Harvard).