Three Big 10 guards have made the cut of the 20 finalists announced for the 2011 Bob Cousy Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Demetri McCamey of Illinois, Kalin Lucas of Michigan State and Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin all move on to the next phase of voting for the Bob Cousy Award, which recognizes college hoops premiere point guard.
Penn State’s Talor Battle and Purdue’s Lewis Jackson were on the original list of 70 nominees announced in December, but failed to advance on.
“This list makes up college basketball’s elite at the point guard position,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “These 20 players in contention for the award all have skills that Mr. Cousy would be proud of.”
McCamey has led the No. 16 Illini to a 13-3 record and seems to have put all of his potential together this season. The senior leader is fifth in the country in assists with 7.1 per game and ranks seventh in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 54%, in Big 10 play McCamey is even better nailing 73% from behind the arc. He has also bumped up his scoring average to 16.2 points a game in conference play and has demonstrated that he can put his team on his back.
Michigan State’s Lucas has been hailed as a preseason All-American. Though his numbers are a bit off, the veteran “coach on the floor” is still averaging 14.5 points and 3.6 assists a game. He is hitting 40% from three-point land and has taken over a few games down the stretch with clutch performances. Look for Lucas to finish strong and inspire his fellow Spartans as they tune up for their usual March madness crescendo.
Jordan Taylor is Wisconsin’s consistent floor general who will give a solid performance every night. His stat sheet of 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists does not fluctuate much from game to game. Like a good point guard he hits 85% of his free throws and has a great assists to turnover ratio of 3.9. In Big 10 action he is averaging 20.5 points.
It appears to be a bit of a slight that Talor Battle of Penn State has dropped off the list. Battle leads the Big 10 in scoring at 20.9 points and is also averaging 4.9 boards and 3.2 assists. He is always the defensive focus of opposing teams and just this week was instrumental in leading Penn State to back-to-back wins over ranked teams, the first time the Nittany Lions have accomplished that in 56 years.
By February 3rd the Hall of Fame selection committee will pare the list down to 10 players, and then down to five players by March 3rd. In conjunction with the NCAA Final Four festivities, the winner of the 2011 Bob Cousy Award will be declared on April 4th.
The rest of the Bob Cousy Award finalists:
Kevin Anderson, Richmond
Norris Cole, Clevland State
Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech
Corey Fisher, Villanova
Jimmer Fredette, BYU
DJ Gay, San Diego State
Tu Holloway, Xavier
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse
Brandon Knight, Kentucky
Mickey, McConnell, St. Mary’s
Jacob Pullen, Kansas State
Nolan Smith, Duke
Isaiah Thomas, Washington
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Casper Ware, Long Beach State
Chris Wright, Georgetown