Vernon Carey Jr. named a finalist for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

Duke basketball center Vernon Carey Jr. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball center Vernon Carey Jr. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball big man, Vernon Carey Jr., was named as a finalist for the Kareen Abdul-Jabbar Award as he has taken college basketball by storm with his dominant play.

Vernon Carey Jr. came into Duke as a highly rated prospect but flew under the radar with the national media.

Through the majority of his freshman season, Carey Jr. has been anything but under the radar as he was named as a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.

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The Southwest Ranches, Florida native is averaging a team-high 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 58.2 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from 3-point range.

Joining the Duke big man on the watch list is Omer Yurtseven of Georgetown, Filip Petrusev of Gonzaga, Luka Garza of Iowa, Udoka Azubuike of Kansas, Daniel Oturu of Minnesota, Kaleb Wesson of Ohio State, Onyeka Okongwu of Southern California, Isaiah Stewart of Washington, and Nathan Knight of William & Mary.

The 6-foot-10 center’s best game of the season game back on November 21 at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Empire Classic against the California Golden Bears in which Carey Jr. scored 31 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and recorded four blocks in a 35-point victory.

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In his latest performance against North Carolina, Vernon Carey Jr. scored 18 first half points to keep Duke within striking distance but failed to score a point in the second half to end with 18 points and six rebounds in just 28 minutes due to fouling out.

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Carey was also named to the late season Wooden Award Watch List alongside teammate Tre Jones, who was named as a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award which is given to the best point guard in the country.

Another tall task will be in front of Vernon Carey Jr. as the Duke Blue Devils take on the No. 8 Florida State Seminoles in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Monday night at 7:00pm EST on ESPN.