MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Athletics) Saint John native, and Senior KSU Forward Dean Wade has been named one of 21 watch list members for the 2019 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, as announced by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame today (October 18).
Named for 14-time NBA All-Star and 11-time All-NBA First Team player, Karl Malone, the annual award is in its fifth year and recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the 21 preseason candidates.
Wade was one of three Big 12 players named to the watch list, including Kansas’ Dedric Lawson and West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate. Other candidates include BYU’s Yoeli Childs, Duke’s Zion Williamson, Indiana’s Juwan Morgan, Kentucky’s Reid Travis and P.J. Washington, Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy, Nevada’s Jordan Brown, North Carolina’s Luke Maye, Northern Kentucky’s Drew McDonald, South Carolina’s Chris Silva, South Dakota State’s Mike Daum, Tennessee’s Grant Williams, UNC Wilmington’s Devontae Cacok, USC’s Bennie Boatwright, Vanderbilt’s Simisola Shittu, Villanova’s Eric Paschall and Washington’s Noah Dickerson.
The accolade is one of several earned by the St. John, Kansas native entering his senior season, as Wade recently became just the second Wildcat to be selected the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year by the league coaches and was a unanimous Preseason All-Big 12 selection. He has also been named Preseason All-Big 12 by Street & Smith’s, Lindy’s and Athlon’s as well as a Preseason All-American by NBCSports.com.
Wade is the second Wildcat to earn recognition to one of the Hall of Fame’s “Naismith Starting 5,” awards, as fellow senior Barry Brown, Jr., was one of 20 preseason candidates for the 2019 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award on October 16.
A 6-foot-10, 228-pound three-year lettermen, Wade enters his senior season, ranking 17th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,187 points having seen action in 101 career games at K-State with 98 starts.
Wade is coming off a transformative junior season in 2017-18, in which, he averaged a team-best 16.2 points on 55 percent shooting (198-of-360), including 44 percent (40-of-91) from 3-point range, to go with 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.8 minutes per game. He became just the 15th player in the Big 12 era to average at least 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in a single season, joining the likes of Iowa State’s Curtis Stinson, Oklahoma State’s Tony Allen and Marcus Smart, Texas’ P.J. Tucker and Kansas’ Josh Jackson.
His 16.2 points per game average in 2017-18 was the highest by a Wildcat since Jacob Pullen averaged 20.2 points as a senior in 2010-11. He led the Wildcats in seven categories, including scoring, double-doubles (4), 20-point games (11), 3-point field goal percentage and rebounding (6.2 rpg.).
Wade became just the fourth Wildcat to be named to the Coaches’ All-Big 12 First Team, joining Michael Beasley (2008) and Pullen (2010, 2011) as the only players to do it as undergraduates.
By mid-February, the 21-member watch list for the West Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Karl Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles on April 12, 2019.
Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell (2015), Iowa State’s George Niang (2016), Baylor’s Johnathan Motley (2017) and Arizona’s Deandre Ayton (2018).
Wade is among 10 returning lettermen for a K-State team that has earned numerous Preseason Top 25 rankings, including No. 11 by Yahoo! Sports, Street & Smith’s, Lindy’s and Athlon and No. 12 by ESPN.com and CBSSports.com. Wade helped the Wildcats win 25 games for just the sixth time in school history and advance to the Elite Eight in 2017-18.