Freshman Kevin Knox, along with freshman Hamidou Diallo, was named to the Naismith Preseason watch list. Photo by Keyli Chisesi (Go Big Blue Country)
More preseason honors roll in for Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox, as the freshmen duo was named to the Citizen Naismith Trophy preseason watch list. Fifty potential candidates were announced today that will be eligible for the Player of the Year honor.
The duo is already included on other watch lists, including recently being named to the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list. In addition, both are preseason favorites for All-SEC honors and national awards.
The award is named in honor of James Naismith, the founder of basketball. The Wildcats have only had one player win the award, as Anthony Davis took home the honor in 2012.
Knox looked even better than advertised during the Wildcats preseason schedule. The UK freshman flashed his ability to score in all areas of the floor, leading Kentucky in scoring with 19.3 points per game. Knox is a preseason candidate for the Julius Erving Award, which is given to the nations best small forward.
Diallo, who surprised everyone by returning to Kentucky, also had a strong exhibition season. Diallo averaged 14.7 points per game in Kentucky’s three exhibition games. The UK freshman was also named to the Jerry West Award watch list, which is awarded to the nations best shooting guard.
Diallo, Knox and the Wildcats open the regular season vs. Utah Valley on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.