Three Big 12 players — including Oklahoma State’s Moussa Cissé — are on the watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the nation’s best shooting center.
The other two Big 12 players on the list are Iowa State’s Osun Osunniyi and Texas Tech’s Fardaws Aimaq.
Cissé was the 2022 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year last season, averaging 20 minutes per contest. He averaged 7.2 points per game with 6.5 rebounds, 1.86 blocks and 0.3 assists. He led the Big 12 in blocked shots.
Osunniyi transferred to Iowa State from St. Bonaventure, where he left as the program’s all-time leader in blocked shots (305), along with being one of six players in program history to record more than 1,000 points and 800 rebounds. He was the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year the last two seasons. He averaged 11.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and shot 61.3 percent from the floor last season.
Aimaq played at Utah Valley last season. He was the 2021 and 2022 WAC Defensive Player of the Year and the 2021 WAC Player of the Year. In three seasons of college basketball he has 1,056 points (12.7 per), 918 rebounds (11.1) and 99 blocks (1.2). Aimaq won’t play until at least Big 12 play due to a broken left foot.
The winner of the 2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Bob Cousy Award (Point Guard), Julius Erving Award (Small Forward), Karl Malone Award (Power Forward) and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (Center), in addition to the Women’s Starting Five.
Previous winners of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award are Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky (2022), Luka Garza, Iowa, (2020 and 2021), Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (2019), Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (2018), Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga (2017), Jakob Poeltl, Utah (2016) and Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (2015).
2023 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Watch List
Charles Bediako, Alabama
Oumar Ballo, Arizona
PJ Hall, Clemson
Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton
Dereck Lively II, Duke
Colin Castleton, Florida
Osun Osunniyi, Iowa State
Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan
Armando Bacot, North Carolina
Moussa Cissé, Oklahoma State
Kel’el Ware, Oregon
Zach Edey, Purdue
Clifford Omoruyi, Rutgers
Fardaws Aimaq, Texas Tech
Adem Bona, UCLA
Adama Sanogo, UConn
Branden Carlson, Utah
Jamarion Sharp, Western Kentucky
Jack Nunge, Xavier
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard