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Gonzaga’s Zach Norvell Jr. makes Erving Award watch list

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 18, 2017

Gonzaga redshirt freshman Zach Norvell Jr. warms up during a practice session for their NCAA semifinal game last year. Norvell says his experience as a redshirt helped him grow as a player and improve his game heading into this season. (Mark Humphrey / AP)
Gonzaga redshirt freshman Zach Norvell Jr. warms up during a practice session for their NCAA semifinal game last year. Norvell says his experience as a redshirt helped him grow as a player and improve his game heading into this season. (Mark Humphrey / AP)

Gonzaga redshirt freshman Zach Norvell Jr. has been named one of 20 candidates for the Julius Erving Award, presented annually to college basketball’s top small forward.

Norvell, slowed by a knee injury, played in GU’s exhibition win over West Georgia last season. He made three 3-pointers and scored 18 points.

Norvell was No. 76 on ESPN’s Top 100 as a prep standout at Simeon Charter Academy in Chicago. He’s competing for a starting spot with Rui Hachimura and Corey Kispert.

Norvell is the only WCC player on the watch list. The Pac-12 is represented by UCLA’s Kris Wilkes, Oregon’s Tony Brown Jr. and Arizona’s Rawle Alkins. Montana State’s Tyler Hall represents the Big Sky.

Gonzaga will face at least one player on the watch list (Villanova’s Mikal Bridges) and possibly two others (Duke’s Gary Trent Jr., and Butler’s Kelan Martin) at the PK80 Invitational in Portland.

The award is named after Erving, a Hall of Famer who was named to the NBA’s 50th anniversary all-time team.

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