Baylor junior forward Johnathan Motley was named the winner of the Karl Malone Award as the nation’s best power forward at the ESPN College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles on Friday night.
Motley was selected from a group of five finalists that also included Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen, Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan and UCLA’s TJ Leaf.
Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell won the inaugural award in 2015 and Iowa State’s Georges Niang picked up the 2016 award.
“Baylor Nation is extremely proud and happy for Johnathan Motey,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “Karl Malone signifies hard work and dedication, and Johnathan has followed in those footsteps. He’s done a tremendous job progressing throughout his Baylor career.”
Motley was a second-team Associated Press All-American as he led the Bears to the Sweet 16 by averaging a team-high 17.3 points and a Big 12-leading 9.9 rebounds per game.
Motley shot 52.1 percent from the field and 69.9 percent from the free throw line and ranked second on the team with 37 blocked shots. He recorded 15 double-doubles.
A projected first-round pick in the NBA draft, Motley hasn’t yet announced if will forgo his senior year at Baylor or return to the team. He recently underwent surgery for a torn meniscus and is expected to have a recovery period of four to six weeks.