SDSU Hoops: Jaedon LeDee named 2024 Karl Malone Award winner

LeDee ranked in the top-100 nationally in 11 statistical categories, including No. 3 in free throw attempts, No. 5 in field goals and free throws, No. 6 in points and No. 12 in points per game.

Saturday, April 6, 2024
Jaedon LeDee interacts with SDSU fans
San Diego State University men’s basketball forward Jaedon LeDee interacts with fans after the Aztecs beat Colorado State 71-55 at Viejas Arena, February 13, 2024. (Derrick Tuskan/San Diego State)

San Diego State senior forward Jaedon LeDee has been named the 2024 Karl Malone Award winner, recognizing the best power forward in the nation. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame made the announcement on Saturday prior to the tipoff of the Final Four in Glendale, Ariz.
"I would like to thank the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Mr. Malone, and the selection committee for being named the 2024 Karl Malone Award Power Forward of the Year," LeDee said. "I am truly humbled to have my name mentioned alongside Mr. Malone, a Hall of Famer, as well as past recipients of this honor; Obi Toppin, Drew Timme and Zion Williamson, among others. While this is an individual award and recognition, I would not be in this position without the support of my family, teammates, and coaches. They have all played an integral role in my development as a player and person."
The Malone Award in one of five bestowed by the Naismith Hall of Fame, which make up the Hall's starting five and include the Bob Cousy Award (Point Guard), Jerry West Award (Shooting Guard), Julius Erving Award (Small Forward), and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (Center). Previous winners of the Karl Malone Award are Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana (2023), Keegan Murray, Iowa (2022), Drew Timme, Gonzaga (2021), Obi Toppin, Dayton (2020), Zion Williamson, Duke (2019), Deandre Ayton, Arizona (2018), Johnathan Motley, Baylor (2017), Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015).

READ: Aztecs' Jaedon LeDee excels on the court and in the classroom

LeDee, the first Aztec to be honored with one of the Naismith Hall of Fame's "Starting Five" awards, authored one of the most impressive years in college basketball this season and arguably the best single year in Aztec men's basketball history. The Houston native set single season Scarlet and Black records with 772 points, 263 field goals, 226 free throws, 308 free throw attempts and 1,121 combined points, rebounds, and assists.
His totals for points, field goals and combined points, rebounds and assists broke Michael Cage's 40-year-old records in each category. In addition, he broke Bob Brady's record of 213 free throws, which was set in the 1952-53 season and Marcus Slaughter's program record of 252 free throw attempts from the 2005-06 campaign. Additionally, his 810 efficiency points, 21.4 points per game, 1,173 minutes and 470 field goal attempts rank No. 2, No. 3, No. 5 and No. 6, respectively on the program's single season lists.
"This is a great honor for Jaedon," Aztecs head men's basketball coach Brian Dutcher said, "and I couldn't be happier for or prouder of him in being named the Karl Malone Award winner. Jadeon is the epitome of what a student athlete should be, excelling both in the classroom and on the court, where he has become one of the most dominant players in college basketball.

"His work ethic is a model for anyone who wants to excel in their chosen field, and shows if you put in the work, you can achieve great things. Jaedon is a perfect example of that and a great representative of the Malone Award."
On a national basis, the 6-9 240-pound forward ranked in the top-100 in 11 statistical categories, including No. 3 in free throw attempts, No. 5 in field goals and free throws, No. 6 in points and No. 12 in points per game.
He led the Mountain West in field goal attempts, field goals, free throw attempts, free throws, points, and points per game, and was No. 2 in double doubles (12) and offensive rebounds per game (3.36).
LeDee is one of two players in the nation to average at least 21.4 points and 8.4 rebounds while shooting at least 56.0 percent from the floor and the only player in the nation who is averaging at least 21.4 points and 8.4 rebounds while also having hit 20 3-pointers. In addition, he is the second Division I player over the last 10 seasons to score 20-plus points on at least 55.0 percent shooting in the first five games of a season, joining Obi Toppin in 2019-20 who did it on his way to the 2020 John R. Wooden Award.
The fifth-year senior put the nation on notice in the second week of the season, when in three games concluding at the Continental Tire Main Event, he averaged 28.7 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.0 steals and added a block. In the three games, he shot 57.1 percent from the floor (28-of-39), including 50.0 percent from the bonus distance (2-of-4) and 84.8 percent from the line (28-of-33). In addition, he dished out seven assists, had six steals and a block.
For his efforts, he was named the Continental Tire Main Event Most Valuable Player, a tournament that featured the Aztecs handing No. 15 Saint Mary's a 79-54 drubbing as well as an overtime win against Washington. Following his MVP performance, he was chosen as ESPN National Player of the Week as well as Lute Olson and NCAA March Madness Player of the Week and garnered his first of two Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week designations.
LeDee, who has been named a second-team All-American by The Sporting News, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), NCAA March Madness, and Field of 68, a third team and honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), respectively, is a finalist for the Lute Olson Award for the national player of the year and earlier this week was named a John R. Wooden Award All-American.

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