March 14, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) has been named one of six finalists for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, announced today by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The UConn senior guard leads UConn in scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals and helped guide the Huskies to 24 victories in the regular season, including 12 conference wins. Napier finished among the top five AAC players in eight different offensive categories.
Joining Napier in the final six are UCLA’s Kyle Anderson, Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis, North Carolina’s Marcus Paige, Ohio State’s Aaron Craft and Wichita State’s Fred VanVleet.
The Cousy Award, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in men’s college basketball. The original list of 47 candidates was narrowed down to the list of six student-athletes by a nationally-based committee.
“The Cousy Award screening committee took on the tough job of choosing from many talented point guardsto determine this list of six players who represent the leadership skills that Bob Cousy exhibited,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Each of these candidates has consistently proven that they are worthy of this prestigious award.”
Napier, who was named the conference’s Player of the Year Wednesday and was a unanimous first team All-Conference pick, has already been named a U.S. Basketball Writers Association first team All-American, the District I Player of the Year, and an All-District selection. The 6-1 guard is on the final watch lists of the John Wooden Award, the Naismith Trophy, The Oscar Robertson Trophy, and the Senior CLASS Award.
“It was a tough process to narrow down the list of already exceptional point guards to only six, but these six men deserve to be fighting for the award and recognized as some of the greatest point guards in college basketball,” said Ken Kaufman, Chair of the Bob Cousy Award and former president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). “We are excited to see what these six can do for the remainder of the season and recognize the winner at the Final Four.”
UConn’s Kemba Walker captured the Cousy Award in 2011. Other previous winners include Kendall Marshall (North Carolina), Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph’s), Raymond Felton (North Carolina), Dee Brown (Illinois), Acie Law (Texas A&M), DJ Augustin (Texas), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), and last year’s recipient Trey Burke (Michigan).
The final six players in contention for the award will be presented to Cousy and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The Hall of Fame committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, Sports Information Directors, Hall of Famers and head coaches. The winner of the 2014 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at the Hall of Fame’s Class Announcement on Championship Monday in North Texas as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.