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Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie named to Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list

Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie swats UNC Greensboro forward Jordy Kuiper’s shot in a 2018 NCAA Tournament game in Boise. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie swats UNC Greensboro forward Jordy Kuiper’s shot in a 2018 NCAA Tournament game in Boise. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie is among 21 players on the watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, presented annually to college basketball’s top center.

Tillie was the Zags’ second-leading scorer (12.9), rebounder (5.9) and shot-blocker (1.0) last season. The junior from France led GU in 3-point accuracy (47.9 percent) by a wide margin. Tillie connected on 13 of 14 3-point attempts in the WCC Tournament en route to earning most outstanding player honors.

The 6-foot-10 Tillie joins Josh Perkins (Bob Cousy Award), Zach Norvell Jr. (Jerry West Award), Rui Hachimura (Julius Erving Award) on preseason watch lists. The four returning Zags were selected to the preseason All-WCC team on Thursday.

Tillie made 58 percent from the floor, highest among Zags averaging double-digit minutes, and 77 percent at the free-throw line. He produced seven 20-point games, with a season-high of 27 against IUPUI and Portland.

Przemek Karnowski won the Abdul-Jabbar award two years ago, following Gonzaga’s 37-2 season and run to the national championship game. Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado was the 2018 recipient.

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