WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue junior Nojel Eastern was named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's Julius Erving Award watch list, given to the nation's top small forward, the organization announced today.
Eastern is one of 20 players named to the watch list and is the only Big Ten player to be on the list.
Eastern, a 6-foot, 7-inch, 230-pound native of Evanston, Illinois, averaged 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while starting 35 of 36 games a year for the Big Ten co-champion Boilermakers. After a slow start to the season, he finished the year by averaging 8.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game over the last 21 outings. He recorded double-doubles against Indiana, Michigan State and Nebraska and was a member of the Big Ten's All-Defensive Team. Eastern is regarded as one of the top defensive players in America.
Eastern and the Boilermakers open the regular season Nov. 6, when Green Bay visits Mackey Arena.