SPRINGFIELD, Mass., OCT. 17, 2019 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday that University of South Florida sophomore Alexis Yetna was one of 20 student-athletes and the only one from the American Athletic Conference named to the 2020 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award Watch List.
Named after Class of 2010 Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its sixth year recognizes the top power forward in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
“The young men on the watch list for this should be extremely proud and motivated heading into the upcoming season,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Karl Malone was an exemplary player who brought his best every game and we expect to see similar effort from these student-athletes. It’s a joy to see the passion Mr. Malone has for selecting the athletes who win this esteemed annual award.”
Yetna (Paris) was tabbed the 2019 American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year after finishing last season tops in the league in rebounding with 9.6 per game while pulling down a single-season league record 346 boards. He also paced the conference with 3.3 offensive rebounds per game and was one of only seven players in the NCAA who led their conference in rebounds per game, defensive rebounds per game and offensive rebounds per game.
Yetna, who featured three games last season with at least 16 rebounds, also added 12.3 points per game and paced the conference with 15 double-doubles. Yetna became just the second freshman of the year in school history and first since Jorge Azcoitia was named the 1979 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year. Earlier this week, Yetna was selected to the American Athletic Conference Preseason All-Conference Second Team.
Karl Malone attended Louisiana Tech University due to its close proximity to his hometown of Summerfield, La. He led the Bulldogs to a Sweet 16 appearance and earned All-Southland honors in his three seasons while averaging 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Malone achieved great success during his 19 seasons in the NBA as a 14-time NBA All-Star (1988-98, 2000-02), 11-time All-NBA First Team player (1989-99) and a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He also won two Olympic gold medals (1992, 1996).
New to the award this season is Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies, in each of the three rounds. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2020 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2020 Karl Malone Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five.
Additional awards being presented and receiving support from Eaton Ephesus Lighting 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, in addition to the Women’s Starting Five. Broadcast information will be released by ESPN at a later date.
Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Zion Williamson, Duke (2019). Deandre Ayton, Arizona (2018), Johnathan Motley, Baylor (2017), Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015).
For more information on the 2020 Karl Malone Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, October 18.
2020 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award Candidates
Tristan Clark – Baylor
Yoeli Childs – BYU
Lamine Diane – Cal State Northridge
Obi Toppin – Dayton
Killian Tillie – Gonzaga
EJ Montgomery – Kentucky
Trendon Watford – LSU
Jalen Smith – Maryland
Xavier Tilman – Michigan State
Reggie Perry – Mississippi State
Garrison Brooks – North Carolina
John Mooney – Notre Dame
Kaleb Wesson – Ohio State
Brady Manek – Oklahoma
Lamar Stevens – Penn State
Trevion Williams – Purdue
Isaiah Mobley – USC
Alexis Yetna – USF
Mamadi Diakite – Virginia
Tyrique Jones – Xavier
About USF Men’s Basketball
The USF men’s basketball team is led by head coach Brian Gregory. On March 22, 2017, Gregory was introduced as the 10th head coach in program history. He previously led programs at Georgia Tech (2011-16) and Dayton (2003-11). Gregory spent nearly a decade as an assistant coach under Michigan State’s Hall of Fame head coach Tom Izzo and helped the Spartans win the 2000 NCAA National Championship. Gregory owns nearly 250 career head coaching wins and six postseason appearances, including the 2010 NIT Championship. In his second season at the helm of the Bulls, Gregory led the team to the best win turnaround in the NCAA, the most single-season wins in school history and the 2019 College Basketball Invitational championship.
USF has retired three numbers in its 47-year history: Chucky Atkins (12), Charlie Bradley (30) and Radenko Dobras (31). The Bulls have earned three NCAA tournament bids, appeared in the NIT eight times and won the 2019 College Basketball Invitational.