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Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht Named Julius Irving Award Winner

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball’s Dalton Knecht is the 2023-24 Julius Irving Award Winner, ESPN’s College Gameday announced on Saturday evening ahead of the Final Four semifinals games. The Julius Irving Award is given annually to the top small forward in men’s college basketball.

The award committee, including media members, college head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers, chose Knecht as the winner of Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman, Memphis’ David Jones, Washington’s Keion Brooks and Weber State’s Dillon Jones.

Knecht turned in one of the best individual seasons in Tennessee basketball history in his lone season in Knoxville. The 6-foot-6 Knecht averaged 21.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He was even better in SEC play where he averaged 25.5 points per game on 48% shooting from the field and 42% shooting from three-point range.

The Northern Colorado transfer was a scoring sensation and was at his best when the lights were brightest. He scored 40 points once, 35-plus points six times, 30-plus points seven times and 25-plus points 13 times in his incredibly impressive season in Knoxville.

More From RTI: Dalton Knecht’s Top 10 Moments In Lone Season At Tennessee

With Knecht leading the way, Tennessee turned in one of the best seasons in the program’s history. The Vols won the SEC Regular Season Championship outright for the first time since 2008 and made it to the Elite Eight for the second time in program history.

In four NCAA Tournament games, Knecht scored 104 points (26 PPG) on 35-of-85 (41%) shooting from the field and 14-of-35 (40%) shooting from three-point range. He also grabbed 26 rebounds (6.5 RPG) over the course of the tournament.

This is far from the first honor Knecht has earned this season. Tennessee’s superstar won SEC Player of the Year honors and was a consensus First Team All-American. Knecht is the first Tennessee player to earn each honor since Grant Williams in 2018-19.

Knecht will look to add more national honors to his storied season in Knoxville. He’s a finalist for both the Naismith Player of the Year and Wooden Award though Purdue’s Zach Edey is a favorite to win each award.

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