South Jersey’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was named to the Wayman Tisdale Award watch list on Thursday by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
The Kentucky freshman is from Somerdale, N.J. but attended St. Patrick’s in Newark. The 6-foot-7 forward was named all-state three times and was the co-MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game as he scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
“With his athleticism and length, he has the ability to be one of our best defenders,” said Kentucky head coach John Calipari in a statement on Kentucky’s website. “I'm looking for Michael to be the fire of this team."
He chose Kentucky over Villanova, Connecticut, Florida State, Indiana and Rutgers. His cousin, Dajuan Wagner was a stand-out guard at Camden High and later played in the NBA.
This summer, he added “Kidd” to his last name in order to honor his late uncle, Darrin Kidd.
Joining Kidd-Gilchrist on the Tisdale watch list are:
Bradley Beal, Florida, guard; Chane Behanan, Louisville, forward; Khem Birch, Pittsburgh, forward; Anthony Davis, Kentucky, forward; Andre Drummond, Connecticut, center; Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State, guard/forward; Austin Rivers, Duke, guard; Marquis Teague, Kentucky, guard; Adonis Thomas, Memphis, forward guard; Josiah Turner, Arizona, guard; Cody Zeller, Indiana, forward.
Contact staff writer Matt Breen at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_breen.