Posted: 12/20/2012 | Last updated: December 20, 2012 at 02:05 PM
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Lehigh men’s basketball senior C.J. McCollum and junior Mackey McKnight have been named candidates for the 2013 Bob Cousy Award, as announced by the Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in men’s college basketball. In total, over 80 candidates have been nominated for the award and Lehigh is one of only five schools with multiple candidates.
This marks the second straight season McKnight has been named a candidate. It’s the first time for McCollum, who can play both shooting guard and point guard. They’re the only two Patriot Leaguers among the 85 nominees.
“The Bob Cousy Award promotes the values of leadership, determination, and teamwork, all skills needed on the basketball court and in life,” said Ken Kaufman, Chair of the Bob Cousy Award and former president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). “Mr. Cousy exemplified all of these traits and inspired so many people on and off the court. We hope that this coveted award continues to honor his legacy.”
McKnight has impressed, averaging a career high 11.4 points and 5.3 assists this season. The assist mark is second in the Patriot League, as he’s dished five or more helpers in eight of 10 games thus far. Only a junior, he owns 286 career assists and should finish among Lehigh’s all-time leaders. One highlight this season came against Fordham when he scored a season-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting, to go with five assists and two seals.
McCollum has continued to dazzle in all aspects, leading the nation with 24.9 points per game while posting 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He came on last season with 124 assists, almost 50 more than his previous career high. The Patriot League’s all-time leading scorer has 16 career games with five or more helpers, including a career-high nine against Bucknell last January.
The watch list of candidates will be narrowed down to a final 20 around January 1, final 10 near February 1 and final five by approximately March 1. 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 (Saint 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.
The Mountain Hawks are in action Thursday night when they hit the road to face North Texas at 8 p.m. ET. Lehigh will then host Bryant after the holiday on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m.
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