Marquette freshman Ellenson named to preseason award watch list

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Having not yet played an official minute of college basketball, Marquette freshman Henry Ellenson has already been recognized as one of the country's players to watch.

Ellenson was one of 20 candidates named to the preseason watch list for the 2016 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday.

The most highly touted prep player Marquette has landed in decades, Ellenson was a consensus top-10 national recruit. He was the co-winner of Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball Award and was selected for the McDonald's All-American Game. He also played for Team USA and won a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship.

Ellenson is one of only two freshmen, along with California's Ivan Rabb, to be named to the watch list.

In its second year, the Karl Malone Award honors the best Division I power forward in the nation. Last season, the inaugural prize went to Louisville's Montrezl Harrell.

By mid-February, the list of 20 players will be narrowed to 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Malone and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The winner will be selected on April 8, 2016.