Ron Harper Jr. is one of three Big Ten players named to Julius Erving Award watchlist

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Three Big Ten small forwards were named to the watchlist for the prestigious 2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. The award is given out to the top small forward in men’s college basketball.

Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers), Caleb Houstan (Michigan) and Justice Sueing (Ohio State) were the three representatives from the conference to make the watchlist from a list of 20 national players. The award is named after the legendary Julius Erving, who had an accomplished career at UMass as well as professionally in the ABA and the NBA.

Harper will be counted on heavily for Rutgers this year as the program looks to make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time since 1975-76. He was an influential part of the Scarlet Knights solid season, averaging 14.9 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game.

The inclusion of Houstan is impressive as the freshman has yet to play a game at Michigan. The 6-foot-8 Canadian has a long wingspan, is a good perimeter defender, and is equally impressive with his back to the basket as he is playing above the rim. He was a five-star recruit and ranked the No. 14 player in the nation according to 247Sports.

Certainly a known commodity, the inclusion of Sueing is no surprise. The senior is coming off a solid season where he averaged 10.1 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game. It was his first season with the Buckeyes, having transferred to Columbus after playing his previous two seasons at Cal. He is expected to play an even larger role for Ohio State this season.

Only one player from the Big Ten, Denzel Valentine of Michigan State in 2016, has won the award. The Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award was first given out in 2015.

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