April 16, 2024

Memphis’ David Jones Named Finalist for Prestigious Julius Erving Award

- Photo Credits - Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Memphis’ David Jones Named Finalist for Prestigious Julius Erving Award

As the college basketball season reaches its zenith, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has unveiled the five elite small forwards in contention for the coveted 2024 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. Among the distinguished finalists is The University of Memphis’ standout David Jones, who has captivated fans and analysts alike with his explosive performances on the hardwood.

The Julius Erving Award, now in its ninth year, pays homage to the legendary Dr. J, a Hall of Famer whose 16-year professional career set a new standard for the small forward position. This accolade recognizes the exemplary talents and achievements of Division I men’s college basketball’s premier small forwards.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Jones finds himself in esteemed company, with Baylor Scheierman (Creighton), Dalton Knecht (Tennessee), Keion Brooks Jr. (Washington), and Dillon Jones (Weber State) completing the list of finalists. However, Jones’ exceptional play for the Tigers has certainly made a compelling case for his claim to the award.

Commanding the nation’s fifth-highest scoring average at 21.9 points per game, Jones has been a statistical juggernaut. He leads The American in field goals, total points, and steals, reflecting his all-around impact on the game. Notably, his 10 double-doubles attest to his versatility and consistency, while his free-throw and steals rankings place him among the nation’s best.

Beyond the numbers, Jones’ rebounding prowess is evident as he leads Memphis with an average of 7.6 boards per game. The Santo Domingo native’s quest to mirror Zion Williamson’s 2018-19 achievements of 21.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game is a testament to his multifaceted skill set.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Having breached the 20-point barrier 18 times this season, including four 30-point outbursts, Jones has been the linchpin of the Tigers’ offensive engine. His scoring flair and defensive tenacity have not only etched his name among Memphis’ greats but also on the national scene.

As the month progresses, Jones, along with the other finalists, will be evaluated by a seasoned Selection Committee, including esteemed media members, coaches, sports information directors, and Hall of Famers. Julius Erving himself will lend his expertise to the decision-making process, adding further gravitas to this prestigious award.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

The recipient of the 2024 Julius Erving Award will be announced on a date yet to be determined, alongside the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five. This year’s Starting Five will also feature recipients of the Bob Cousy Award, Jerry West Award, Karl Malone Award, and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.

Past honorees of the Julius Erving Award, such as Jalen Wilson and Wendell Moore Jr., exemplify the elite company Jones aims to join. His remarkable season has already etched his name in the annals of Memphis basketball, but capturing the Julius Erving Award would elevate his legacy to the pantheon of collegiate basketball’s finest small forwards.

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