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Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood // AU Athletics

Jabari Smith on the Watchlist for Karl Malone Award

AUBURN, Ala (EETV) - Freshman forward Jabari Smith has been named to the watchlist for the Karl Malone award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday.

The award is given to the nation's top power forward, as it is named after two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and Class of 2010 Hall of Famer Karl Malone.

"The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to annually recognize the best student-athletes in the collegiate game with positional awards bearing the names of some of the greatest players of all time," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "To be named to the watchlist of the Naismith Starting Five is a great honor and I know our Hall of Famers sincerely enjoy the opportunity to watch these players compete."

Smith is one of two freshmen to be named onto the watchlist. He is joined by Duke's Paolo Banchero, who was the lone power forward ranked above Smith, according to 247 sports.

Smith is the highest ranked recruit in Auburn basketball history, right above Sharife Cooper, and was the 6th overall player in the class of 2021. In his senior year at Sandy Creek High School, Smith averaged 23.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.2 spg and 2.5 bpg.

Smith and the Tigers will begin their season with an exhibition match against Southern Indiana in Auburn Arena on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. CT.

2022 Karl Malone Award Watch List
Azoulas Tubelis, Arizona
Jabari Smith, Auburn 
David Roddy, Colorado St. 
Paolo Banchero, Duke
Drew Timme, Gonzaga 
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
Kenneth Lofton Jr., Louisiana Tech 
Eli Scott, Loyola Marymount
Darius Days, LSU
Donta Scott, Maryland
DeAndre Williams, Memphis
Dawson Garcia, North Carolina
EJ Lidell, Ohio State
Quincy Guerrier, Oregon 
Trevion Williams, Purdue
John Fulkerson, Tennessee
Tre Mitchell, Texas
Isaiah Mobley, USC
Jayden Gardner, Virginia
Keve Aluma, Virginia Tech