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Jakob Poeltl Named to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Watch List

Utah basketball sophomore center Jakob Poeltl was named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watch list today

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Utah basketball sophomore center Jakob Poeltl was named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watch list today, according to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The award is named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins. The annual award is in its second year and recognizes the top centers in men's college basketball. Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky was the inaugural winner of the award last season. Poeltl was a semi-finalist for the award last season as a freshman for Utah.

A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates. The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be narrowed down to 10 names in mid-February and then five finalists will be selected in March. The winners of the awards will be presented at the second annual ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 8.

Poeltl is coming off a true freshman campaign for the Utes last season where he was named to both the Pac-12 All-Freshman and CBSSports.com Freshman All-America Teams and is considered a possible lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

A full list of the players named to the watch list can be found below.2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates. Poeltl is joined by three other members of the Pac-12 and one other player who plays in the state of Utah.

Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona

Mamadou Ndiaye, UC Irvine

Josh Scott, Colorado

Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville

Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga

Thomas Bryant, Indiana

Jameel McKay, Iowa State

Cheick Diallo, Kansas

Skal Labissiere, Kentucky

Diamond Stone, Maryland

Stephen Zimmerman, UNLV

Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina

Zach Auguste, Notre Dame

AJ Hammons, Purdue

Jakob Poeltl, Utah

Damian Jones, Vanderbilt

Daniel Ochefu, Villanova

Josh Hawkinson, Washington State

Joel Bolomboy, Weber State

Devin Williams, West Virginia