SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Zach Smith of the Texas Tech men’s basketball team made program history on Thursday when he was named as one of 20 players on the prestigious Karl Malone Award Watch List.
Smith is the first Texas Tech player to be recognized by either of the five preseason watch lists for honors presented by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The list includes the Bob Cousy, Jerry West, Julius Erving, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar awards.
Smith was recently the first Red Raider since former All-American Jarrius Jackson in 2006-07 to be listed among the five-person All-Big 12 Preseason Team. He registered 12.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 assists per game last season and heads into his senior season 110 points away from reaching 1,000 for his career.
Smith has been a force on the defense end and is only player in Tech history to secure 40-plus blocks during his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. Only former All-American Rick Bullock has had three seasons of at least 40 or more block in three seasons. The Plano native is 27 blocks shy of Tony Battie’s program record.
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2018 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award will benarrowed 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 2018 Karl Malone Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, Calif. on Friday, April 6, 2018. Broadcast information will be released at alater date by the ESPN family of networks.
Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award have come from the Big 12 Conference in each of the last two seasons by Baylor’s Johnathan Motley and Iowa State’s Georges Niang. The initial award went to Montrezl Harrell of Louisville in 2015. For more information on the Karl Malone Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
The Red Raiders take on Angelo State in an exhibition game on Friday, November 3rd before squaring off with South Alabama on Friday, November 10th to start the regular season.
Texas Tech ranked 26th in the nation for the largest average attendance increase between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. More season tickets have already been sold for 2017-18 than all of last season. Fans are encouraged to purchase season tickets now to reserve the best available seats.
Tickets are on-sale and feature an affordable season ticket package that starts at $99. Season tickets can be purchased in person at the Texas Tech Athletics Ticket Office located on the East Side of Jones AT&T Stadium, online at www.TexasTech.com or over the phone at (806) 742-8324 (TECH). Single-game and mini-plan ticket information will be announced by the Texas Tech Athletics Ticket Office at a later date.
Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by liking TexasTechMBB on Facebook along with following @TexasTechMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
2017-18 Karl Malone Award Watch List
Marvin Bagley III, Duke
Bennie Boatwright, Southern Cal
Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
Gary Clark Jr., Cincinnati
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
Mike Daum, South Dakota State
Obi Enechionyia, Temple
Nana Foulland, Bucknell
Rokas Gustys, Hofstra
Alize Johnson, Missouri State
William Lee, UAB
Nick Mayo, Eastern Kentucky
Yante Maten, Georgia
Jordan Murphy, Minnesota
Dylan Osetkowski, Texas
Zach Smith, Texas Tech
Reid Travis, Stanford
Moritz Wagner, Michigan
P.J. Washington, Kentucky
Robert Williams, Texas A&M