COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Sophomore forward Justin Jackson was one of 50 players named to the 2018 Citizen Naismith Trophy Watch List recognizing the top player in college basketball, as announced by the organization Thursday. The Citizen Naismith Trophy kicks off a special season, which will culminate with the 50th presentation of the award April 1, 2018, and today the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced 50 players to watch for the coveted honor. A list of the midseason 30 team will be released on Feb. 14, 2018.
"We are proud to recognize our former winners during this special season and reflect on the heritage and tradition of the past 50 years,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “There are tremendously talented candidates vying to win the 50th Citizen Naismith Trophy and that process starts today.”
The honor comes after Jackson was named a preseason All-Big Ten selection and a 2018 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year watch list honoree last month. A 6-7 forward from Toronto, Ontario, Jackson averaged 10.5 points and a team-high six rebounds per game for the Terps in 2016-17. He ranked seventh on Maryland's freshman single-season rebounding list (199) and was second on the team in blocks (29).
Maryland went 24-9 in Jackson's first season in College Park and punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament for a third straight season. Additionally, Jackson was named to the Barclays All-Tournament team after averaging 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in wins over Richmond and Kansas State. He was tabbed Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on Jan. 23 and recorded the first back-to-back double-doubles for a freshman at Maryland since 2010 with 28 points and 10 rebounds at Minnesota and 22 points and 12 rebounds at Ohio State.