Kansas senior Devonte' Graham has been named one of five finalists for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday. Graham is vying to become the second Jayhawk to win the honor as Frank Mason III was the 2017 recipient.
A national committee of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers narrowed the original watch list of 20 players down to 10 candidates and now to just five finalists. This month, the five finalists will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame's selection committee.
The five finalists for the 2018 Bob Cousy Award are Graham, Joel Barry II (North Carolina), Trae Young (Oklahoma), Jalen Brunson (Villanova), and Jevon Carter (West Virginia).
On every national player of year watch list, Graham is the only player in NCAA Division I this season averaging 17.0-plus pts, 7.0-plus assists, 1.6-plus steals and fewer than 3.0 turnovers per game. Graham is sixth nationally, second in the Big 12, in assists per game at 7.2. The Raleigh, North Carolina, guard is scoring 17.6 points per game, which is second in the conference. Graham is third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7), sixth in free throw percentage (82.6), fourth in 3-point field goals made (3.0), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (42.3) and fifth in steals (1.6).
Graham was the unanimous selection for Big 12 Player of the Year and an All-Big 12 First Team selection after guiding Kansas (24-7, 13-5) to its NCAA-record 14th consecutive, 18th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 61st regular-season conference title.
This season, Graham is logging 37.4 minutes per game this year, which ranks as the fifth highest average in a single season at KU. His 93 3-pointers made are sixth on the KU season list and his 224 assists are eighth.
Historically, in Kansas' last game Graham became the 15th player in KU history to score 1,600 points. He currently sits 15th with 1,620 points. Graham is the third player in school history to tally 1,600 points, 550 assists and 180 steals in a career. KU All-Americans Darnell Valentine and Kirk Hinrich are the only other Jayhawks to hit those numbers. Graham is second on the KU career 3-point field goals made list, currently at 279, ninth in assists at 574 and ninth in steals at 186.
The winner of the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame's selection committee. Fans are encouraged to visit www.HoophallAwards.com to cast their votes March 2-23.
The winner of the 2018 Bob Cousy Award will be honored at ESPN's College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 6, 2018. Additional awards being presented include the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award.
Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award include Mason (2018), Tyler Ulis, Kentucky (2016), Delon Wright, Utah (2015), Shabazz Napier, Connecticut (2014), Trey Burke, Michigan (2013), Kendall Marshall, North Carolina (2012), Kemba Walker, Connecticut (2011), Greivis Vasquez, Maryland (2010), Ty Lawson, North Carolina (2009), DJ Augustin, Texas (2008), Acie Law, Texas A & M (2007), Dee Brown, Illinois (2006), Raymond Felton, North Carolina (2005) and Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph's (2004).
2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Finalists
Joel Berry II, North Carolina
Jalen Brunson, Villanova
Jevon Carter, West Virginia
DEVONTE' GRAHAM, KANSAS
Trae Young, Oklahoma