Nate Watson Named to the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Preseason Watch List


Providence College Junior Nate Watson has been named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Preseason Watch List for the upcoming 2020 NCAA basketball season.  This is the sixth year that the award will be given out to the top Center in Men’s Division I college basketball and a national committee has put together the following list of 20 players.

Chase Jeter Arizona
Nico Carvacho Colorado State
Vernon Carey Jr. Duke
Kerry Blackshear Florida
Omer Yurtseven Georgetown
Luka Garza Iowa
Udoka Azubuike Kansas
Steven Enoch Louisville
James Wiseman Memphis
Jon Teske Michigan
Jeremiah Tilmon Missouri
Armando Bacot North Carolina
Nate Watson Providence
Matt Haarms Purdue
Nick Rakocevic USC
Neemias Queta Utah State
Isaiah Stewart Washington
Derek Culver West Virginia
Charles Bassey Western Kentucky
Nathan Knight William & Mary

It should be noted that players can play their way onto or off the list at any point during the season.

Georgetown’s Omer Yurtseven is the only other Big East player named to the Preseason watch list.

Of the first five winners of the award, Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado won the award in 2018, the same year that Mikal Bridges won for the best Small Forward in college basketball.

Last season, Nate’s numbers and production improved significantly, more than doubling in almost every category.

Minutes Per Game: From 13.8 mpg to 23.5 mpg

Points Per Game: From 6.8 ppg to 11.7 ppg

Rebounds Per Game: From 1.9 rpg to 5.2 rpg

The shooting percentages (free throws and field goal) stayed pretty consistent from his Freshman year to his Sophomore year.  Even though Nate’s rebounds went up by about 2.5x, the Friars are going to need another jump in that category for him for his Junior year.  His minutes and points will increase from his hard work, experience, and his overall growth in skills.  I’m not worried about that in the least.  Defensively is where I want to see the most growth from Big Nate this season.  His body and physique continue to develop and mature and should translate into strengthening his presence on the defensive side of things.  His blocks per game stayed at 0.7 bpg from his Freshman to Sophomore year despite an increase of an additional 10 minutes of action per contest.  With endless number of long wings that the Friars have, Nate should see some help side swats with Providence’s length clogging up the passing lanes.

As long as Nate’s knee injury doesn’t end up keeping him out of the lineup too long or hinders his movement upon his return, I don’t see any reason why he can’t be one of the 20 best center’s in college basketball for this upcoming season.  Like I always say, let the Big Guy eat!


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