UNM's Williams, SDSU's Thames Named Cousy Award Watch List Finalists

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - New Mexico senior guard Kendall Williams and San Diego State senior guard Xavier Thames are among the 24 finalists for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, announced Monday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, the annual honor recognizes the top point guards in men’s college basketball. The original watch list of 80 candidates was narrowed down to 24 by a nationally-based committee.

The Mountain West is one of five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12) with multiple representatives on the final watch list.

Williams began the season as a member of the original 80-member Cousy Award Watch List. He is currently ranked fifth in the Mountain West in scoring at 17.2 points per game and he leads the league in assists (5.0) and steals (1.8). The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native is also fifth in the Conference in assist/turnover ratio at 2.4.

Thames was not on the original watch list of 80 candidates, but played his way into the final 23 after averaging 17.7 points per game for the Aztecs. In addition to his team-leading and MW third-ranked point production, Thames is averaging 2.9 rebounds and a team-high 2.8 assists per game, while shooting over 40 percent from three-point distance and over 81 percent from the charity stripe. The Sacramento, Calif., product is also a candidate for the Naismith Trophy and Oscar Robertson Trophy.

From Tuesday, February 18th through Monday, March 10th, fans from around the country will have the chance to vote for the top point guard in college basketball – fan voting begins on CousyAward.com at 10 a.m. ET.

The selection criteria for the Cousy Award emphasize leadership, team work, success, and fundamentals as being critical parts for the game of basketball as a point guard. The list of 23 finalists will be narrowed down to five players by early March. The final five players in contention for the award will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The Hall of Fame committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Hall of Famers and Sports Information Directors. The winner of the 2014 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at the Hall of Fame’s Class Announcement on Championship Monday in North Texas as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.

2013-14 COUSY AWARD WATCH LIST FINALISTS
Name Class Position Team
Kyle Anderson So. G/F UCLA
Keith Appling Sr. G Michigan State
Eric Atkins Sr. G Notre Dame
Billy Baron Sr. G Canisius
Jason Brickman Sr. G LIU Brooklyn
Jahii Carson So. G Arizona State
Siyani Chambers So. G Harvard
Justin Cobbs Sr. G California
Aaron Craft Sr. G Ohio State
Tyler Ennis Fr. G Syracuse
Yogi Ferrell So. G Indiana
DeAndre Kane Sr. G Iowa State
T.J. McConnell Jr. G Arizona
Shabazz Napier Sr. G Connecticut
Marcus Paige So. G North Carolina
Kevin Pangos Jr. G Gonzaga
James Robinson So. G Pittsburgh
Marcus Smart So. G Oklahoma State
Juwan Staten Jr. G West Virginia
XAVIER THAMES SR. G SAN DIEGO STATE
Fred VanVleet So. G Wichita State
Scottie Wilbekin Sr. G Florida
KENDALL WILLIAMS SR. G NEW MEXICO
Chaz Williams Fr. G/F Massachusetts