Beachem, Edwards, Anunoby on Erving Award watch list

Notre Dame forward V.J. Beachem (3) reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament against Duke, Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Washington. Notre Dame won 84-79 in overtime. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue men’s basketball junior Vincent Edwards was 1-of-20 players named to the watch list for the Julius Erving Award the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today.

A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates, given to the nation’s top small forward. This list will be narrowed down to 10 in mid-February and then five finalists will be selected in March that will be presented to Julius Erving and the selection committee. The winner of this award will be presented at the third annual ESPN College Basketball Awards Show live from The Novo in Los Angeles, California, on Friday, April 7.

This marks the third year for the award, won by Arizona’s Stanley Johnson in 2015 and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine in 2016.

Edwards, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward from Middletown, Ohio, was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection a year ago and is Purdue’s leading returning scorer at 11.3 points per game. He is the only player in Purdue history to have amassed 675 points, 325 rebounds and 175 assists by the conclusion of his sophomore season, and is 1-of-2 active players nationally to have scored at least 675 points with 325 rebounds, 175 assists with 75 made 3-pointers by the end of his sophomore season (Edwards, Oregon’s Dillon Brooks). Edwards also led the team in assists (100) and 3-pointers made (46) and was third in rebounding (5.4 RPG). He has led the team in assists in each of his first two years at Purdue.

Edwards and Indiana’s O.G. Anunoby are the only Big Ten players on the watch list. Notre Dame’s V.J. Beachem – a New Haven High School graduate – is also on the list.

The first chance to see the Boilermakers in action is at Purdue’s annual fan day Saturday, Oct. 22, in Mackey Arena. Fans can receive autographs and get pictures with their favorite Boilermakers beginning at 10:45 a.m. ET, and then are invited to stay and watch Purdue’s first intrasquad scrimmage of the season.

The Boilermakers return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a 26-9 record and was ranked in the nation’s top 25 all year long. This year’s team is ranked in the top 20 of nearly all preseason polls.

Mini plans and single-game tickets are now on sale to the general public and tickets for the Villanova and Indiana games will only be available with the purchase of mini plans and season tickets.