The preseason honors continue to roll in for Nebraska senior wing James Palmer Jr.
The John R. Wooden Award released its preseason watch list featuring 50 of the biggest names in college basketball and Palmer was one of them.
The watch list is determined by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts and it consists of 50 players tabbed as early front-runners for the Wooden Award All American Team and Most Outstanding Player award.
The Wooden Award was created in 1976 and has been awarded to college basketball’s best player who meets or exceeds the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by John Wooden himself and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
On the men’s side, previous winners include Larry Bird (1979), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97) and Kevin Durant (’07). Villianova’s Jalen Brunson took home the award last season.
Palmer, a 6-foot-6 wing, led the Huskers with 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season as a junior, guiding the Huskers to a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten and garnering all-conference honors in the process.
Palmer is one of 19 seniors on the watch list and one of nine players from the Big Ten, which ties the conference with the SEC for second-most behind only the ACC with 10.
The All American Team will be announced during the week of the Elite Eight while the Wooden Award winner will be announced on April 12, 2019 during the ESPN College Basketball Awards.
On Monday, Palmer was named to the 50-man Naismith Trophy watch list which also recognizes the nation’s top play. He was previously named to the Jerry West Award Watch List focused on recognizing the NCAA’s best shooting guard and was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team.
The Huskers open the season Tuesday night at home against Mississippi Valley State.
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.