TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State’s Dwayne Bacon has been named as a finalist for the Julius Erving Award presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Seminole star is one of 10 finalists for the award which recognizes the top small forward in men’s college basketball.
The Seminole sophomore is averaging a career-high 17.1 points per game and has scored in double figures in an ACC best 31 consecutive games. Bacon is also on the Oscar Robertson Award Watch List, Naismith Award Watch List, is a top-25 finalist for the Wooden Award, was named to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament Team, was named the Most Valuable Player at the Orange Bowl Classic, was named the Lute Olson National Player of the Week and the ACC Player of the Week on January 2, 2017. Bacon was a preseason All-ACC Second-Team selection by the media in attendance at the ACC Operation Basketball in October. He earned Freshman All-American honors and was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team as he became just the second freshman in school history to lead the Seminoles in scoring during the 2015-16 season.
Bacon enters Wednesday’s game against Miami with 913 career points and needs only 87 points to become the 46th player in school history to score 1,000 or more career points. Bacon set Florida State’s record for points by a freshman (536 in 2015-16) and is looking to become only the second sophomore in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark. All-American and NBA First Round draft choice Bob Sura (1,055 points) is the only Seminole to reach the coveted scoring mark as a sophomore.
“This is a great honor; one that I am very humbled by,” said Bacon. “To be included as a finalist for the Julius Erving Award and to be mentioned among this group of players is unbelievable. I really believe these honors can easily be divided up among all of my teammates because each member of our team has contributed to our success this season.”
Bacon has scored 522 points in his last 31 games – with double figure scoring coming in all 31 games. He has scored at least 20 points in nine different games during his streak with his career high of 29 points coming in the Seminoles’ victory over No. 11/11 Virginia earlier this season.
Julius Erving attended the University of Massachusetts and averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game, making him one of only six NCAA men’s basketball players to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. After two seasons, Erving made the jump to the American Basketball Association and was the league’s most recognizable player when it merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976. During his professional career, Erving won three championships, four most valuable player awards and three scoring titles. In 1996, Erving was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and in 1993 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“To be included on a list for an award that has Julius Erving’s name it is incredible,” said Bacon. “We were watching video of him last week in our locker room last week; the things he could do were amazing. He was a great player; one of the all-time greats of the game of basketball.”
In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. The winner of the 2017 Julius Erving Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show live from The Novo by Microsoft in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 7, 2017. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Previous winners of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016) and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015).
2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award Finalists
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
Evan Bradds, Belmont
Kelan Martin, Butler
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
Jayson Tatum, Duke
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
Josh Hart, Villanova
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier