John Fulkerson has become a major piece of Tennessee's team over the last season and a half. Fulkerson led Tennessee in scoring last winter, and he is back for at least one more season. The NCAA extended eligibility for winter athletes as well, which would allow Fulkerson to come back for another season if he chose.
Following that announcement, Rick Barnes told local reporters, "that was my first recruiting call that day. I got over here and I said, 'man, you're gonna be a lifer.' I've said it before, I would have loved to have a guy like Kevin Durant forever, and I will say the same thing about Fulky."
Last week, Fulkerson was named a Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award Candidate. The University released a press statement on the honor. You can see it below.
Tennessee senior John Fulkerson is among 20 Division I standouts nominated for the 2021 Karl Malone Award. He is one of four preseason candidates from the SEC who will compete throughout the season for this prestigious honor, presented annually to the best power forward in the country.
Former Vol and current Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams was named a top five finalist for the Karl Malone Award in 2019.
Named after Hall of Famer and former Louisiana Tech standout Karl Malone, the award, now in its seventh year, recognizes the top power forward in the country. Players can play their way on and off the nomination list at any point during the season.
Last season, Fulkerson established himself in his junior campaign as a top contributor for the Vols, leading the team in scoring (13.7 ppg), field-goal percentage (.612) and rebounding (5.9 rpg). His .612 field-goal percentage was the fourth-best single-season percentage in program history, trailing only legendary VFLs Bernard King, Reggie Johnson and Dale Ellis—an impressive feat considering the shortened 2020 season. Fulkerson also made the coaches' All-SEC second team.
Fan voting for the 2021 Julius Erving Award goes live on Friday, Nov. 6. The list of candidates will be trimmed to just 10 players in late January, and the top five finalists will be presented to Malone and the Hall of Fame selection committee in February. The winner of the 2021 Karl Malone Award will be announced on April 9.
The Karl Malone Award is one of five collegiate position-specific awards sponsored annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Earlier this week, Tennessee senior Yves Pons was named a candidate for the 2021 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.
KARL MALONE POWER FORWARD OF THE YEAR AWARD CANDIDATES
Mark Vital, Baylor
Aamir Simms, Clemson
Matthew Hurt, Duke
Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky
Trendon Watford, LSU
Tre Mitchell, UMass
Garrison Brooks, North Carolina
Seth Towns, Ohio State
Brady Manek, Oklahoma
Hasahn French, Saint Louis
Sandro Mamukelashvili, Seton Hall
Oscar da Silva, Stanford
John Fulkerson, Tennessee
Greg Brown, Texas
Kevin Marfo, Texas A&M
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova
Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia
Nate Reuvers, Wisconsin