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Villanova’s Josh Hart a finalist for 2017 Julius Erving Award for nation's top small forward

Hart joins four others.

Villanova v Xavier Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Villanova senior Josh Hart has been selected as one of five finalists for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Wednesday.

Hart, who was also named a finalist for the Wooden Award, is joined by fellow finalists Dillon Brooks of Oregon, Josh Jackson of Kansas, Justin Jackson of North Carolina and Jayson Tatum of Duke.

Hart has also been named a first team all-American by USA Today, The Sporting News, and NBC Sports.

The 6’6” guard from Silver Spring, MD is averaging 18.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. He is the only BIG EAST player in the Top 5 for scoring and rebounding.

The Julius Erving Award, named after the 11-time NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer, is in its third year recognizing the top small forwards in Division I men's college basketball.

Fans can help Hart’s cause by voting daily at from March 10-24. The winner of the 2017 Julius Erving Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show on April 7 in Los Angeles.

The 2017 Julius Erving Award will be presented at ESPN's College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 7, televised live on ESPN2.

Previous winners of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award include Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2016) and Stanley Johnson, Arizona (2015).