Freshman point guards named to Cousy Award watch list

NC States Dennis Smith Jr. and Dukes Frank Jackson head crop of 20 players earning mention for the award

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
Dennis Smith

Three in-state ACC point guards, including two that have yet to play their first college game, are among the candidates named by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to the preseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. NC State’s Dennis Smith Jr., rated by many as the nation’s top incoming freshman guard, and Duke’s Frank Jackson, who earned co-MVP honors at the 2016 McDonald’s All-American Game, head the crop of 20 to ballhandlers earning mention for the award. They are joined by North Carolina’s Joel Berry, who averaged 12.8 points and 3.8 assists as a sophomore last season in winning ACC tournament MVP honors and helping the Tar Heels reach the national championship game. Other ACC point guards making the preseason list are Virginia’s London Perrantes and Virginia Tech’s Seth Allen. The rest of the list is made up of Davidson’s Jack Gibbs, UConn’s Jalen Adams, Creighton’s Maurice Watson Jr., Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss, Iowa State’s Monte Morris, Kansas’ Frank Mason, Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, Maryland’s Melo Trimble, Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Southern Cal’s Jordan McLaughlin, Villanova’s Jalen Brunson, Washington’s Markelle Fultz, Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig and Xavier’s Edmund Summer. The Cousy Award committee will narrow its watch list to 10 players by mid-February and a list of five finalists will be announced in March. The award winner will named as part of a made-for-television ceremony in Los Angeles on April 7.