East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State men's basketball player Cassius Winston (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) was named one of 10 candidates for the 2019 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday.
Named after Class of 1971 Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic and Holy Cross guard Bob Cousy, the annual honor now in its sixteenth year recognizes the top point guards in Division I men's college basketball. A national committee comprising top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October, which has now been narrowed to just 10.
The junior guard is averaging 18.8 points, 7.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and 45.4 percent from 3-point land. He ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring and leads the league, and ranks No. 5 in the country, in assists.
Winston has scored at least 20 points 11 times this year, including eight of the last 11 games, averaging 21.5 points per game in that span. He has handed out at least 10 assists five times this year and at least six assists 18 times.
Since 1992-93, Winston is one of only 18 Division I college basketball players to average at least 18.0 points and 7.0 assists per game, including one of three players this year (Ja Morant of Murray State and Colbey Ross of Pepperdine). Among that group of 18 players, which includes Denzel Valentine during the 2015-16 season, Winston is one of just six from a Power Six Conference. He is the only player in the country averaging at least 18.0 points per game, 7.0 assists per game and connecting on at least 45.0 percent of his 3-point attempts this season.
Winston, who was selected to the John R. Wooden® Midseason Top 25, recognizing the top player in college basketball, has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week three times this season (Nov. 26, Dec. 31 and Jan. 21). He was also named the Most Valuable Player at the Las Vegas Invitational, averaging 19.5 points, 8.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in wins over UCLA and Texas.
In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The winner of the 2019 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's in Los Angeles, Calif. on Friday, April 12, 2019, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting 5. Additional awards being presented and receiving support from Eaton Ephesus Lighting 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. Broadcast information will be released by ESPN at a later date.
Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award include Jalen Brunson, Villanova (2018), Frank Mason III, Kansas (2017), 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).
For more information on the 2019 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall on Twitter and Instagram.
Michigan State hits the road on Tuesday, Feb. 5, playing at Illinois. The game will air live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. with Dave Flemming calling the play-by-play, Dan Dakich serving as the analyst and Molly McGrath on sidelines.
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