Lincoln – University of Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr. was one of 50 players on the initial 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year honor released Monday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Palmer, who was named the Jerry West Award watch list for the top shooting guard in college basketball, is one of eight Big Ten players on the Watch list.
A returning first-team All-Big Ten selection, Palmer comes off a junior season where he averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in leading the Huskers to a 22-11 record and an NIT berth. Palmer reached double figures in 31 of 33 games in his first season at Nebraska, including eight 20-point efforts. His junior year was highlighted by a career-high 34-point effort at Ohio State. Palmer is one of only five returning power conference player who averaged 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 3.0 apg last season.
In Big Ten play, Palmer finished third in the conference at 18.8 points per game, reaching double figures in 17 of 18 conference tilts. He also finished 11th in assists (3.4 apg) in Big Ten action. He is the highest returning scorer in Big Ten play in six seasons.
Palmer is the first Husker to make the Naismith Trophy Watch List since Terran Petteway in 2014-15.
A list of the midseason 30 team will be released on Feb. 13, 2019, followed by the 10 national semifinalists and four finalists on March 4, 2019 and March 19, 2019 respectively. The 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy will be awarded on at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 7, 2019, during the Final Four in Minneapolis.