Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Ranking top 20 players for 2023-24 Julius Erving Award

Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /
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NCAA Basketball Oregon State Beavers forward Glenn Taylor Jr. Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Basketball Oregon State Beavers forward Glenn Taylor Jr. Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Julius Erving Award is an annual prize given to the best “small forward” in NCAA Basketball. These days, it’s the position that has created the most debate as to who qualifies there. There are various three-guard lineups and others that are larger, with three traditional forwards.

Last season, Jalen Wilson won the Julius Erving. Of course, there’s a question as to whether he’s a true small forward since he mostly played both the power forward and center positions. Still, Wilson was an All-American star who led Kansas to a 1 seed and a Big 12 title.

This year, we got 20 new candidates for the prize, including some high-profile names. Here’s how I would rank each of them in terms of the likelihood of winning.

20. Coen Carr – Michigan State Spartans

2022-23 season stats: N/A

Carr is a four-star freshman prospect, ranked in the top 60 overall. He’s a great athlete that should have an impact on in the rotation for a preseason top-5 team. The issue is that Michigan State is likely starting the same three-guards and Malik Hall at the four once he is healthy. Carr’s impact likely won’t be felt on the stat sheet, which gives him little hope at winning this award.

19. Glenn Taylor – St. John’s Red Storm

2022-23 season stats (at Oregon State): 11.6 ppg and 3.7 rpg

Glenn was second in scoring at Oregon State, shooting 43% from the field and having a trio of 20+ point games. He’s now at St. John’s, likely as a starter at the 3 or 4-spots. He’s going to have to compete with other key transfers on the team who are better than anyone on the Beavers. So ultimately, there’s a real chance that his numbers dip this year.