October 20, 2021 - by
Basketball’s Cleveland Named To Julius Erving Watch List

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State freshman Matthew Cleveland has been named to the 20-player watch list for the 2022 Julius Erving Award by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The award highlights the best small forward in college basketball. The award will be presented to the nation’s top small forward on April 8, 2022 at the College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles.

Cleveland, who averaged 22.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.0 steals as a senior at Pace High School in Atlanta, is one of seven freshmen and one of only two players from the ACC on the Julius Erving watch list.

Cleveland led his team to back-to-back state championships his junior and senior seasons. He was named the 2021 Atlanta area Player of the Year and was selected as the Georgia 2A Player of the Year.

Cleveland has joined a growing list of Seminoles placed on preseason award lists under head coach Leonard Hamilton. Scottie Barnes was named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list as the nation’s top point guard and M.J. Walker was placed on the Jerry West Award watch list as the nation’s top shooting guard for the 2021 season. In 2019, Trent Forrest was named to the Cousy Award watch list. Dwayne Bacon was named to the Jerry West watch list, and Xavier Rathan-Mayes was named to the Cousy watch list in 2016.

Julius Erving, the namesake for the award, played at the University of Massachusetts from 1969-1971, where he averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game. He was one of only six NCAA players who averaged 20 points and 20 rebounds per game in his career. Erving began his professional career as a member of the New Jersey Nets in the American Basketball Association and was one of its best players ever when it merged with the NBA in 1976. Erving won three championships, four MVP trophies and three scoring titles. Erving was selected to the 50th anniversary all-time NBA team in 1996.

Previous winners of the Julius Erving award include Corey Kispert, Gonzaga (2021), Saddiq Bey, Villanova (2020), Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga (2019), Mikal Bridges, Villanova (2018), Josh Hart, Villanova (2017), Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016), and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015).

Florida State opens its season on Nov. 10 against Penn at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles begin ACC play as they play host to Syracuse on Dec. 4 in Tallahassee. Florida State has won 25 consecutive ACC home games and will look to tie the all-time ACC record for consecutive home wins when they host the Orange.

2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award Watch List
Matthew Cleveland, Fr., Florida State
Marcus Bagley, So., Arizona St.
Matt Mayer, Sr., Baylor
Kendall Brown, Fr., Baylor
Jabari Walker, So., Colorado
Hyunjung Lee, Jr., Davidson
AJ Griffin, Fr., Duke
Jalen Wilson, RS-So., Kansas
Lucas Williamson, GS, Loyola-Chicago
Emoni Bates, Fr., Memphis
Caleb Houstan, Fr., Michigan
Justice Sueing, Sr., Ohio State
Ron Harper, Jr., Sr., Rutgers
Julian Champagnie, Jr., St. John’s
Harrison Ingram, Fr., Stanford
Timmy Allen, Sr., Texas
Kevin Obanor, Sr., Texas Tech
Jaime Jaquez, Jr., UCLA
Patrick Baldwin Jr., Fr., UW-Milwaukee
Jermaine Samuels, GS, Villanova

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