Dec. 26, 2012
NEWPORT NEWS, Va.--Six Atlantic 10 men's basketball players have been named to the 2013 Bob Cousy Award Collegiate Point Guard of the Year watch list. Rotnei Clarke (Butler), Kevin Dillard (Dayton), Tyreek Duren (La Salle), Chaz Williams (Massachusetts), Kwamain Mitchell and Mike McCall, Jr. (Saint Louis) all were placed on the prestigious list.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the watch list of candidates for the annual honor, which is named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy. It recognizes the top point guards in men's college basketball. Over 80 candidates have been nominated for the 2013 Bob Cousy Award.
Clarke, an instrumental transfer in helping Butler earn a spot in the Top 25 (currently No. 18/21) with wins over No. 1 Indiana and No. 9 North Carolina. He drilled a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lead the Bulldogs to a win over Marquette to start the Maui invitational. He leads the team in scoring (17.7 points per game) and assists (2.3 assists per game).
Dillard leads the Flyers in scoring (15.0), assists (4.1), steals (1.4) and minutes played (31.2) this season. He is second on the team in free throw percentage (.863, 44-51) and third in 3-point percentage (.396, 19-48). He has led UD to an 8-3 record so far this season. A preseason first Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, Dillard was ESPN.com's national player of the week earlier this season after scoring 25 points and handing out six assists in a win at Alabama on Dec. 5.
Duren is third in the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 17.1 points per game and has a team-high 26 assists. A second team NABC All-District and Philadelphia Big 5 selection last season, he averaged 13.2 points per game and 4.0 assists per game. in leading La Salle to 21 wins and an NIT berth. The junior entered the year with the most assists by an Explorer after two seasons since eventual NBA guard Doug Overton. He has hit game-tying and game-winning shots this season versus Villanova and Northeastern.
In 2011-12, Williams earned NABC First Team All-Distric 4 honors in addition to being named to the All-Atlantic 10 First-Team and the Atlantic 10 All-Tournament Team. He averaged 16.9 points per game and 6.3 assists. The addition of the transfer from Hofstra helped guide UMass to the NIT Final Four last year before a loss to Stanford in the Semifinals. Through nine games in 2012-23, Williams is ranked second on the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game and 7.1 assists.
McCall Jr. has started all 10 games for the Billikens and is third on the team with 11.1 points per game. He leads the Atlantic 10 Conference in shooting percentage from 3-point range, connecting on 56.3 percent of his chances from long range. McCall Jr. shoots 43.0 percent from the floor (36-82) and 84 percent from the charity stripe (21-25). McCall Jr. is 11th in the A-10 in assists per game (3.7) and eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.7). In addition, he is seventh in the league in minutes played (34.5).
Mitchell is recovering from a foot injury that has forced him to miss the Billikens' first ten games. A first-team preseason All-Conference pick, Mitchell is SLU's active scoring leader with 1,321 career points, which is 15th on SLU's all-time list. He is also fifth in 3-pointers made (171) and attempted (475), tied for sixth in steals (132) and eighth in assists (345) in the Billiken record book. Last season, Mitchell claimed third-team All-Conference honors while scoring 12.4 ppg. He led the team in assists (126) and steals (44) and tied for first in the A-10 in assist/turnover ratio (2.1). He scored 12.6 ppg in conference play and scored in double figures in each of his last 13 contests.
This watch list of candidates will be narrowed down to a final 20 around January 1st, final 10 near February 1st, and final five by approximately March 1st. A premier Selection Committee has been appointed by the Hall of Fame to review the final five candidates in contention for the nation's top collegiate point guard award. These Hall of Fame committees are made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Sports Information Directors and Hall of Famers. The winner of the 2013 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at the Hall of Fame's Class Announcement on Championship Monday in Atlanta as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.
Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award have included 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), Kemba Walker (Connecticut) and last year's recipient Kendall Marshall (North Carolina). For more information on the 2013 Bob Cousy, log onto www.CousyAward.com.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Birthplace of Basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level - professional, collegiate, men and women.