WVU’s Tshiebwe, Culver both on the radar for Karl Malone Award

WVU Basketball

Texas Tech forward TJ Holyfield (22) goes to shoot as he is defended by West Virginia forwards Oscar Tshiebwe (34) and Derek Culver (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Kathleen Batten)

Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver are early candidates for the Karl Malone Award, which is given every season to the nation’s top power forward.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 20-man watch list on Thursday, which included Tshiebwe. In his freshman season, the native of the Democratic Republic of Congo averaged 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

While not the official watch list, Culver also got a nod for the award from NCAA.com analyst Andy Katz, who placed the junior on his 25-man watch list. Culver ranked fifth on the list after putting up 10.4 points and 8.6 boards every contest a year ago.

“Culver is expected to be one of the most productive players on one of the best teams in the Big 12 this season,” Katz wrote. “He and fellow big man Oscar Tshiebwe will hold down the frontcourt for the Mountaineers.”

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