Markis McDuffie included on Forward of the Year watch list


Brian Hayes

Wichita State’s Markis McDuffie Snapchats on his phone while entering Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Friday afternoon before the NCAA Tournament game against Dayton. (Mar. 17, 2017)

Markis McDuffie, junior forward for the Shockers, was included as one of the 20 members on the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, announced Wednesday.

A national committee selects an initial list of 20 candidates.

Five finalists will be presented to Julius Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee in March, after a committee narrows the list to 10 in February. The Naismith Hall of Fame will present the winner at the ESPN College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles in April.

The award honors Julius Erving, who is the only player in college basketball history to average 20 points and 20 rebounds per game.

Josh Hart of Villanova won the award last year. Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine and Arizona’s Stanley Johnson each were recipients of the award, which is now in its fourth year.

McDuffie is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot. His injury did not require surgery. He is slated to return to action mid-December.

McDuffie was recognized on the Missouri Valley Conference First Team after averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds in his sophomore season. He tested the NBA Draft in the summer, and exercised his freedom to return to Wichita State after NBA scouts offered an evaluation.