Cousy Award Finalists Announced: Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor Still On the ListPosted by rtmsf on January 4th, 2012
The Bob Cousy Award list was whittled down from its original 60+ names in the preseason to a more manageable 20 on Wednesday afternoon. In case you’ve lost track of what the Cousy is specifically for, it is the award given to the nation’s top point guard/floor general in college basketball. Often that player will also be in the running for National Player of the Year honors, as in the recent cases of Jameer Nelson (2004), Ty Lawson (2009), and Kemba Walker (2011). Last year, you might recall that Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor was somewhat infamously left off the February list of 10 finalists, causing the Naismith Hall of Fame brass to reconsider and eventually reinstating the All-America Badger onto the list where he advanced to become one of the five finalists before Walker was selected for the award. To be clear, this version represents the preliminary finalists before the super-finalists before the super-duper-finalists list. The committee will make two more cuts over the next eight weeks before awarding the prize to the winner during Final Four weekend in New Orleans.
Let’s take a look at the current list, and signify using (10) or (5) the players who we expect to advance further. A few notes follow after the jump:
- Pierre Jackson, Baylor
- Shabazz Napier, UConn (10)
- Ray McCallum, Detroit
- Seth Curry, Duke (10)
- Erving Walker, Florida (10)
- Scott Machado, Iona (5)
- Casper Ware, Long Beach State
- Peyton Siva, Louisville
- Trey Burke, Michigan (10)
- Dee Bost, Mississippi State (10)
- Phil Pressey, Missouri
- Kendall Marshall, North Carolina (5)
- Aaron Craft, Ohio State
- D.J. Cooper, Ohio
- Zack Rosen, Pennsylvania
- Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
- Scoop Jardine, Syracuse
- Damian Lillard, Weber State (5)
- Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin (5)
- Tu Holloway, Xavier (5)
A few notes:
- It’s somewhat amazing that Baylor’s weakness coming into the season was its point guard play, and yet here is junior college transfer Pierre Jackson on the list of 20 finalists for the Cousy Award. Nothing about his numbers are eye-popping like some of the others on this list, but he’s been highly efficient and shown a knack for making game-winning plays when needed most.
- We have two mid-major guys on our list of five finalists (Iona’s Scott Machado and Weber State’s Damian Lillard), and it’s unlikely that both will make it that far, but they are having outstanding seasons on opposite ends of the country. The players most likely to replace them will come from a group that is highly dependent on how their teams fare — Duke’s Seth Curry, Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine, and the SEC duo of Florida’s Erving Walker or Mississippi State’s Dee Bost are the most likely candidates.
- Unless someone takes over the next two months of the season, the award is going to be a three-horse race between UNC’s Kendall Marshall, Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor and Xavier’s Tu Holloway. We’ll say it right now — after the negative impression that Holloway made on people (fairly or not) related to the Cincinnati-Xavier brawl last month, he has virtually no chance to win this award nor the NPOY award. That leaves everyone’s point guard darling, Marshall, and the sentimental choice, Taylor. As of today, we’d lay the odds on Marshall if for no other reason than his team is likely to finish better than Taylor’s, and when people think of Cousy (again, right or wrong), they think of a pass-first point guard (although did you know that Cousy averaged 15.2 PPG at Holy Cross and 18.4 PPG in the NBA? Marshall averages 5.3 PPG this season).
- There will always be some notable omissions. Here are a few we thought should have been on there:
Matthew Dellavadova, St. Mary’s (a true FG% of 60.6% leads the trending-up Gaels)
Jordan Theodore, Seton Hall (fifth in the nation in APG, at 7.1)
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State (he was left off the original list, which was shameful enough — he’s #7 nationally in PPG and #27 in APG)
- Can a team win a national championship without one of the top 20 floor generals in America? Kentucky, we’re looking at you, and specifically the Wildcats’ Marquis Teague, a player who has suffered an up-and-down freshman season at UK. The only Kentucky starter with an ORating under 100.0, he’ll have to improve his overall floor game in order to lead John Calipari’s team to the title.