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Sam Hauser named to the Naismith Award watch list

Virginia forward one of 50 players to keep an eye on for the season.

Louisville v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

The preseason awards keep racking up for the 2020-21 Virginia Cavaliers. Forward Sam Hauser was named to the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Watch List, the award given annually to the best player in college basketball. Hauser, a redshirt senior that transferred to Virginia from Marquette before the 2019-20 season, is also on the preseason watchlist for the Julius Erving Award (given to the best power forward).

He is one of eight ACC players on the Naismith watchlist, joined by Scottie Barnes (FSU), Garrison Brooks (UNC), Matthew Hurt (Duke), Jalen Johnson (Duke), David Johnson (Louisville), Caleb Love (UNC), and Wendell Moore, Jr. (Duke). The Big Ten also had eight members on the watchlist, and Gonzaga led all schools with four players honored.

The list will be narrowed down to 30 players at the midseason point in February, with the 10 semifinalists and four finalists being announced in March. Players not on the preseason watchlist are eligible to be included at the midseason watchlist.

Teammate Jay Huff was previously named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar preseason watchlist for the best center in the country, while Kihei Clark earned a nod on the preseason team for the Bob Cousy Award that goes to the nation’s best point guard.

Virginia was picked to finish No. 1 in the ACC — the first time since 1982-83 and only the second time in school history — and Hauser and Clark were picked for the first and second All-ACC teams, respectively.

The 2020-21 season gets underway in less than one week as the Hoos face Maine at 2pm on Wednesday, November 25.