Preseason honors continue to roll in for Nebraska senior guard James Palmer Jr. On Thursday, the Big Ten named him to the 10-man preseason all-conference team, and on Tuesday, he was recognized nationally as a he was named to the Jerry West Award Watch List.
The Jerry West Award is presented annually to the best shooting guard in college basketball and Palmer was one of 20 players selected by the award’s committee, made up of top college basketball personnel, for the initial watch list.
Last season, Purdue guard Carsen Edwards took home the award after averaging 18.5 points and leading the Boilermakers to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Edwards tested the NBA waters and participated in the 2018 NBA Combine but ultimately decided to return to school for his junior year and was named to the 2019 Bob Cousy Award Watch List honoring the game’s top point guard instead of the Jerry West Award watch list.
By mid-February, the committee will narrow the list from 20 to 10 and in March, it will choose five finalists to present to Jerry West himself and the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner will be announced at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles, California, on April 12, 2019.
Palmer averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists for the Huskers as a junior and bumped his scoring average up to 18.8 points per game in Big Ten play. The 6-foot-6 guard scored recorded eight 20-plus-point games with a high of 34 and scored in double figures in all but two games. He led the Huskers to a fourth place conference finish with a 13-5 record and was named a First-Team All-Big Ten performer by the coaches and a second-teamer by the media.
Palmer is one of four starters returning for a Huskers team that went 22-11 and qualified for the NIT last season. A collection of Big Ten media recently picked the Huskers to repeat their fourth-place finish this season.
2019 Jerry West Award Watch List
- Bryce Brown, Auburn
- Jarron Cumberland, Cincinnati
- Kellan Grady, Davidson
- RJ Barrett, Duke
- KeVaughn Allen, Florida
- Zach Norvell Jr., Gonzaga
- Justin Wright-Foreman, Hofstra
- Romeo Langford, Indiana
- Quentin Grimes, Kansas
- Barry Brown Jr., Kansas State
- Tyler Herro, Kentucky
- Quinndary Wetherspoon Jr., Mississippi State
- James Palmer Jr., Nebraska
- TJ Gibbs, Notre Dame
- Mustapha Heron, St. John's
- Tyus Battle, Syracuse
- Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
- Kyle Guy, Virginia
- Jaylen Nowell, Washington
- Fletcher Magee, Wofford
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.