Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr. was named one of 25 players named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 released Wednesday evening.

Palmer, a 6-foot-6 senior from Upper Marlboro, Md., has been instrumental in the Huskers posting an 11-4 record entering Thursday’s game against Penn State. On the season, Palmer is averaging 20.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He is second in the Big Ten in scoring and among the conference leaders in steals (fourth), free throw percentage (.810, 10th) and 3-pointers per game (2.1, 11th).

He has eight 20-point efforts, including a season-high 30 in a win over Creighton on Dec. 9, and has three other games of at least 25 points, including 29 points and six rebounds against Seton Hall and 25 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five steals against Maryland.

He has been his best against the Huskers’ toughest opponents, averaging 22.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game in nine games against power conference opponents.

Palmer is believed to be the first Husker men’s player to make the Midseason Top 25 for the John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s.

The Big Ten leads all conferences with seven selections; followed by the ACC with five; the Big East and SEC with three selections each; the Big 12 and Mountain West with two apiece; and the Ohio Valley, Summit League, and WCC with one selection each.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2019 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award™ late season list, and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team™ will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2019 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 12, 2019.

Palmer Jr. was also named one of 30 players named to the Lute Olson Award Watch List on Wednesday.

Palmer is one of five Big Ten Players on the Olson Award watch list, joining Carsen Edwards (Purdue), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Charles Matthews (Michigan) and Cassius Winston (Michigan State)

The Lute Olson Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I player in College Basketball. It will be presented at the men’s division I national championship in Minneapolis in April. The award is named in honor of former college basketball coach Lute Olson, who won 780 games in 34 seasons.