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Josh Hawkinson named finalist for Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award

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Hawkinson is averaging 16.8 ppg and 9.8 rpg this season for the Cougars.

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

As the Washington State Cougars (11-11) get ready to host the USC Trojans (19-4) in Beasley Coliseum this evening, senior forward Josh Hawkinson will go four his 12th double-double of the season and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has taken notice.

On Friday, Hawkinson was announced as one of ten finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, given annually to the top centers in college basketball. Although the 6`10 Hawkinson isn't listed as a center, he joins an impressive list of finalists including Central Florida's Taco Fall and Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski.

As the Cougars have improved from their atrocious 1-17 conference record in 2015-2016 to 4-6 through ten conference games this season, Hawkinson has been responsible

Hawkinson has played a key role in the Cougars' 4-6 conference record this season, nearly averaging a double-double with 16.0 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game. The Shoreline, Wash. native is ranked in the top 10 in points per game, rebounds per game, and double-doubles in the Pac-12 this season. His 20 double-doubles recorded in his sophomore and junior seasons are a single-season school record for WSU.

With 916 career rebounds, Hawkinson has eight remaining conference games and at least one Pac-12 tournament game to tally 76 more which would give him the all-time Washington State rebounding record at 992 boards.

Next month, ten finalists will be trimmed down to five with the winner being announced on April 7 at the ESPN College Basketball Awards. The Pac-12 conference had the winner of the award last year as Utah's Jakob Poetl was named the 2016 Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year.

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Women's Hoops:

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Kennedy Leonard scored 16 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter to help Colorado pull away and beat Washington State 70-58 on Friday night.