De’Andre Hunter named top 10 candidate for 2019 Julius Erving Award

Hunter recognized as one of the top small forwards in college basketball

hunter-brief

De'Andre Hunter currently leads the Cavaliers in scoring with 14.7 points per game.

Christina Anton | Cavalier Daily

It was announced Wednesday Feb. 6, that Virginia redshirt sophomore De’Andre Hunter was named as one of the top-ten candidates for the 2019 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.

The award recognizes small forwards that exhibit the same kind of talent and spirit that Hall of Famer Julius Erving exhibited when he played. Past winners of the award include Villanova’s Mikal Bridges and Josh Hart, as well as Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine. 

Hunter finds himself with the possibility to be this year’s winner of the award after starting off the season as No. 3 Virginia’s leading scorer. He currently averages a team-high 14.7 points, on 52.9 percent overall shooting and 43.2 percent shooting from behind the arc. He’s recorded four games of scoring 20 or more points, and he has been Virginia’s leading scorer in 11 different games, including ones against top opponents like No. 2 Duke and No. 11 Virginia Tech. 

His versatility and athleticism earned him recognition last year when he was named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year and selected for the All-Freshman Team after averaging 10.8 points per game in ACC contests. This season, Hunter has already picked up an accolade, being named the Battle 4 Atlantis MVP honors after averaging 19.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in the tournament that took place in November.

The other candidates for the award include Belmont’s Dylan Windler, Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, Iowa State’s Marial Shayok, Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson, Michigan’s Charles Matthews, Nevada’s Caleb Martin, Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle, Stanford’s KZ Okpala and Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield.

Five finalists will be presented to Erving and the Hall of Fame selection committee in March. The winner of the 2019 Julius Erving Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's April 12 in Los Angeles, Calif. 

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