This time, the College Campus Tour will take us around the nation to check in on some of the best second-generation stars donning NCAA Division I uniforms this season. The list of men’s basketball players whose fathers also showcased talent on the hardwood as student athletes is more extensive than one might think. The current crop includes names such as Shawn Kemp Jr. (Washington), Treavon Jackson (Wisconsin) and John Horford (Florida); all three of which have done their surnames well. However, the focus here is on a few sons that are each performing at exceptionally high levels for their respective programs.
Starting up in the Great Lake State, we find a senior averaging exactly 20.0 points to go along with 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 treys through his first 11 games of the 2014-15 campaign. Though his father is famous for being a key piece of Michigan’s “Fab Five” in the early 1990s, Juwan Howard Jr. is in his last year of eligibility for the University of Detroit. The Horizon League’s leading scorer has rather successfully led his squad through a somewhat daunting early-season schedule that featured matchups with Wichita State (L 77-68), Michigan (L 71-62) and Oregon (L 83-66), as the Titans stand at 6-5 heading into a bout versus Rhode Island on December 20th. Howard Jr. and company are sure to make some noise in conference play which begins on January 2nd against Wright State.
Moving to the western part of the country, our next stop is Laramie, Wyoming where Head Coach Larry Shyatt’s team kicked off the season by winning their first seven games and presently sport a 9-2 record. Led by leading scorer (13.5 PPG) and rebounder (6.1 RPG) Larry Nance Jr., son of a three-time NBA All-Star, the Cowboys are certainly among the best of a deep Mountain West, along with NCAA Tournament regulars San Diego State, UNLV and New Mexico. If Nance Jr. and the boys can navigate a tough conference slate, Wyoming should have a decent chance of taking part in the “Big Dance” for the first time since 2002.
Journeying into the northwest corner of the contiguous 48, the state of Washington is the third destination of the trip. There, in the city of Spokane to be exact, the 10-1, No. 8 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs are among the elite once again. Though upperclassmen Byron Wesley (Senior, G), Kevin Pangos (Senior, G) and Kyle Wiltjer (Junior, F) make up an incredibly talented trio of team leaders for Coach Mark Few, one 6’10” freshman has been an integral piece to this point. Averaging 11.5 points and 5.7 boards while shooting an extremely impressive 75.0 percent from the field in just under 20 minutes per game, Domantas Sabonis is doing quite well in his attempt to follow up on the Hall-of-Fame pedigree laid out by his father Arvydas.
Heading down the West Coast, this tour concludes just outside of Sacramento at the University of California, Davis where the Aggies have gotten off to a strong 7-1 start behind senior guard Corey Hawkins (20.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 3.3 3PM). Basketball fans of the late 1980s and 1990s are likely familiar with the 13-year NBA career of Hersey Hawkins, who was a one-time all-star and No. 6 overall selection of the 1988 draft. However, the younger Hawkins deserves attention for his achievements over the past 66 games at UC Davis, not the least of which is 1,269 total points and 112 three-pointers (39.2 3P%).