Grant Riller, Nathan Knight Named To Lute Olsen Award Watch List

Riller: Hoops 'Let's Me Be Free'

College of Charleston senior guard Grant Riller and William & Mary senior center Nathan Knight were named to the Lute Olsen Award Midseason Watch List, CollegeInsider.com announced on Tuesday. The Lute Olson Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I player.

Riller has helped Charleston to a 10-6 record and the program’s best conference start since 2016-17 with a 4-0 CAA mark. On Monday, Riller earned CAA Player of the Week honors alongside Knight after a week in which he surpassed former C of C all-time leading scorer Ken Gustafson (1971-75) for second on the school's all-time career scoring list. With 2,151 career points, Riller sits 10th in CAA history. 

The third-leading active career scorer in the NCAA, Riller leads the CAA with a 22.2 points per game average while hitting 53.0-percent of his field-goal attempts. The senior has eclipsed 20 points on 12 occasions this season and ranks seventh in the CAA with 3.8 assists per game.

Knight is enjoying a strong senior campaign, leading the Tribe to an 11-5 overall record and a perfect 3-0 mark in CAA play. The 6-10 center leads the country in double-doubles with 12, averaging 20.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Knight’s CAA Player of the Week accolade was his league-leading third of the season and tied the W&M school record of six held by Marcus Thornton.

The number of major award watch lists continues to grow for the Tribe senior. He was selected to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association on Dec. 6. Earlier this season, he was named to the watch list for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year award after being a finalist for the honor last season.

During the preseason, Knight and Riller both garnered spots on the watch lists for both the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award and the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Award, presented by CollegeInsider.com.

The award is named in honor of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who won 776 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.

Olson is one of just 25 head coaches in NCAA history to win 700 or more games (all divisions) and ranks ninth on the Division I career victories list. He finished with a winning percentage of .731 and is the all-time winningest coach in Arizona history with 587-190 record (.755). 

He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year seven times. Olson also guided Arizona to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons, and is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons. 

The 2019-20 Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award will be announced in April 2020 in Atlanta, Ga., site of the Men's Division I NCAA Basketball Championship.

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