UC senior forward named finalist for Karl Malone Award

Cincinnati forward Gary Clark (11) blocks a shot by Central Florida forward A.J. Davis (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – University of Cincinnati senior forward Gary Clark has been named a finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday.

The award is named after Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone and recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s college basketball.

A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 21 candidates in October, which has now been narrowed to just 10.

Clark is shooting 51.7 percent from the field this season while averaging 12.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks. Since the start of American Athletic Conference play, Clark is shooting 55.3 percent from the floor, while averaging 13.5 points and 9.2 rebounds. He has recorded six of his league-best nine double-doubles this season during AAC action.

Clark has led sixth-ranked Cincinnati (22-2, 11-0 American) in points or rebounds in 19 games this season.

Clark entered Thursday ranked among the league leaders in nine categories: rebounds (first at 8.9), double-doubles (first with nine), offensive rebounds (second at 3.3), defensive rebounds (second at 5.6), blocks (tied for fifth at 1.3), field goal percentage (seventh at .517), steals (10th at 1.4), free throw percentage (14th at .750) and points (17th at 12.9).

Clark ranks third in the nation among active players with 1,032 career rebounds. He is one of five players in school history to achieve at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career. He is the school’s all-time leader in career starts (125), 25th in career points (1,308), fifth in career rebounds (1,032), career blocks (168) and consecutive games played (127) and tied for ninth in career wins (97 with Ryan Fletcher [1996-2000]. His 27 career double-doubles are the most during the Mick Cronin coaching era (since 2006-07). He is also on pace to become only the second player in school history to lead his team in rebounds in four consecutive seasons (along with Yancy Gates.

Clark has been named The American’s Player of the Week three times this season (Nov. 27, Jan. 22 and Jan. 29) and to the league’s weekly honor roll once (Dec. 18).

In the preseason, Clark was named to watch lists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Lute Olson Player of the Year Award and was tabbed second team all-conference by AAC coaches.

In March, five finalists will be presented Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee for the 2018 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award. The winner will be honored at ESPN’s College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 6, 2018.

Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award.

For more information, visit www.HoophallAwards.com.

Here are the 10 finalists for the Karl Malone Award:

  • DeAndre Ayton, Arizona
  • Gary Clark, Cincinnati
  • Marvin Bagley III, Duke
  • Wendell Carter, Duke
  • Yante Maten, Georgia
  • Nick King, Middle Tennessee
  • Jordan Murphy, Minnesota
  • Luke Maye, North Carolina
  • Mike Daum, South Dakota St.
  • Robert Williams, Texas A&M
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