The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the 5 finalists for the 2022 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award on Thursday.  A pair of Big Ten forwards are up for the award.

Iowa’s Keegan Murray and Ohio State’s EJ Liddell are finalists alongside Jabari Smith (Auburn), Paolo Banchero (Duke) and Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga).

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“We’re excited to recognize these five tremendous power forwards as the best in the collegiate game today, not only at their positions, but in the game in general,” John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a release. “Unfortunately, only one can take home the award come April and we’re grateful to have Karl Malone spearheading a committee that will take great care when evaluating these players in the games that matter most.”

The winner of the 2022 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fan voting goes live on Friday, March 4 on

Named after Class of 2010 Hall of Famer and 2-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its 8th year recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. He had high praise for this year’s finalists.

“Regardless of who takes home this award, I’m honored to have an award with my name attached to it be carried on with the legacy of any of these outstanding five young men,” Malone said in a release. “This may be the best crop of candidates in my 8 years associated with this award and I’m as honored as I am excited to present it to one of the most premier players in the country.”

The award has yet to go to a player from the B1G. It has been won by Drew Timme, Gonzaga (2021), Obi Toppin, Dayton (2020), Zion Williamson, Duke (2019), Deandre Ayton, Arizona (2018), Johnathan Motley, Baylor (2017), Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015).