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Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame releases 2013 Cousy Award watch list

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Jabari Parker’s decision on where to attend schools wasn’t the only announcement made on Thursday, as the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame released its December watch list for the Bob Cousy Award.

The award is given annually to the nation’s best point guard, with North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall winning the award last season. The list released today will be narrowed down to 20 in early January.

“The Hall of Fame is proud to continue its mission with Mr. Cousy to celebrate and honor the top collegiate point guards in the country,” John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, said in the statement.

“This list represents a large range of college basketball’s top student athletes from across the country. We are excited to recognize these players for their continuous hard work and dedication.”

The list of players on the first Cousy Award watch list:
Trevor Releford (Alabama)
Mark Lyons (Arizona)
BJ Young (Arkansas)
Jahii Carson (Arizona State)
Pierre Jackson (Baylor)
Kerron Johnson (Belmont)
Rotnei Clarke (Butler)
Justin Cobbs (California)
Kwame Vaughn (Cal State Fullerton)
Trey Freeman (Campbell)
Andrew Lawrence (College of Charleston)
Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado)
Brian Barbour (Columbia)
Shabazz Napier (Connecticut)
JP Kuhlman (Davidson)
Kevin Dillard (Dayton)
Ray McCallum (Detroit)
Frantz Massenat (Drexel)
Quinn Cook (Duke)
Miguel Paul (East Carolina)
Troy Taylor (Evansville)
Kenny Boynton (Florida)
Scottie Wilbekin (Florida)
Derek Needham (Fairfield)
Montay Brandon (Florida State)
Devonta White (Georgia State)
Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga)
Siyani Chambers (Harvard)
Jordan Hulls (Indiana)
Jake Odum (Indiana State)
Korie Lucious (Iowa State)
Devon Moore (James Madison)
Elijah Johnson (Kansas)
Tyreek Duren (La Salle)
C.J. McCollum (Lehigh)
Mackey McKnight (Lehigh)
Peyton Siva (Louisville)
Anthony Ireland (Loyola Marymount)
Cully Payne (Loyola-Chicago)
Michael Alvarado (Manhattan)
Pe’Shon Howard (Maryland)
Chaz Williams (Massachusetts)
Shane Larkin (Miami)
Trey Burke (Michigan)
Keith Appling (Michigan State)
Andre Hollins (Minnesota)
Phil Pressey (Missouri)
Isaiah Canaan (Murray State)
Deonte Burton (Nevada)
Hugh Greenwood (New Mexico)
Kendall Williams (New Mexico)
Juan’ya Green (Niagara)
Dexter Strickland (North Carolina)
Lorenzo Brown (North Carolina State)
Stallon Saldivar (Northern Arizona)
Eric Atkins (Notre Dame)
D.J. Cooper (Ohio)
Aaron Craft (Ohio State)
Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)
Ahmad Starks (Oregon State)
Tray Woodall (Pittsburgh)
Dylan Garrity (Sacramento State)
Kwamain Mitchell (Saint Louis)
Mike McCall Jr. (Saint Louis)
Xavier Thames (San Diego State)
Evan Roquemore (Santa Clara)
Bruce Ellington (South Carolina)
LaShay Page (South Carolina)
Nate Wolters (South Dakota State)
Anthony Collins (South Florida)
Neil Watson (Southern Miss)
Matthew Dellavedova (Saint Mary’s)
Chasson Randle (Stanford)
Anthony Jackson (Stony Brook)
Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse)
Kyan Anderson (TCU)
Trae Golden (Tennessee)
Johnathan Jordan (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi)
Ricky Tarrant (Tulane)
Anthony Marshall (UNLV)
Erick Green (Virginia Tech)
Abdul Gaddy (Washington)
Trey Sumler (Western Carolina)
Malcolm Armstead (Wichita State)
Kendrick Perry (Youngstown State)

Five schools can claim multiple players on the list: Lehigh (C.J. McCollum and Mackey McKnight), Saint Louis (Kwamain Mitchell and Mike McCall), Florida (Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin), New Mexico (Hugh Greenwood and Kendall Williams) and South Carolina (Bruce Ellington and LaShay Page).

Arizona State’s Jahii Carson and Harvard’s Siyani Chambers headline the freshmen on the watch list. Three names that stick out due to their absence are Northern Arizona’s DeWayne Russell, San Francisco’s Cody Doolin and LIU Brooklyn’s Jason Brickman.

While Russell has been one of the most productive freshmen in the country, averaging 16.5 points and 4.0 assists per game, Doolin’s (11.7 ppg, 6.0 apg) play at the point is one reason why the Dons (5-4) have performed better than expected to this point in the season.

As for Brickman, the junior from San Antonio is averaging 11.0 points and 8.2 assists per game, a number that ranks fourth in the country.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

No. 10 Gonzaga outlasts No. 18 UConn despite late offensive struggles

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No. 10 Gonzaga survived a furious rally from No. 18 UConn to win the third place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis, 73-70.

The Zags were up by as much as 21 points early in the second half, leading 48-27, but UConn slowly chipped away at the lead. Kyle Wiltjer led four players in double-figures with 17 points while Eric McClellan added 15 points, making a number of key plays in the second half when it looked like the Zags were in danger of giving away the lead.

As good as Gonzaga looked in the first 22 minutes of this game — and they looked really, really good — the second half exposed the concerns that many had with this group entering the season. Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., who both shot around 40 percent from beyond the arc and started for four years, graduated, meaning that Gonzaga’s point guard situation is, more or less, Josh Perkins.

Perkins was terrific in the second half of a loss to Texas A&M on Thursday. He played 17 foul-plagued minutes against UConn. When UConn’s defense ratcheted up during the second half, Gonzaga struggled finding a way to consistently get good shots on the offensive end. Part of that was due to ineffective point guard play and part of it was a result of not really having anyone on the offensive end that can create a look on their own. As skilled as Wiltjer is, his impact can be limited when pick-and-pop actions aren’t working and he’s getting doubled in the post.

Perkins is talented, but this is essentially his first season of college basketball; he was a medical redshirt last season after breaking his jaw last November. There are going to be ups-and-downs, and that’s problematic on a team where he is essentially the only point guard on the roster.

The good news?

Gonzaga beat a good UConn team on a day when their best players struggled in crunch-time. It was McClellan and Kyle Dranginis that made the big plays down the stretch, not the big names on the Gonzaga roster.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady ‘awake, alert’ after getting stretchered off court

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Wichita State big man Anton Grady was stretchered off of the floor in the second half of a loss to Alabama after a nasty collision with Dazon Ingram.

The video can be seen above. There was nothing malicious about the way that Grady was injured. When he turned to run up the floor after missing a shot in the lane, he went face first into Ingram’s shoulder. He neck bent in an awkward directions and, after stumbling a few steps, he laid motionless on the floor.

It took 10 minutes for the training staff to strap Grady to a backboard and wheel him out of the arena.

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A Wichita State spokesman told NBCSports.com that Grady was taken to a local trauma center for evaluation and that he is “awake, alert and is answering questions appropriately”.

We will have more updates as they come available.

From a basketball perspective, the No. 20 Shockers lost their second game in a row and are now 2-3 on the season.

While for some the Shockers’ résumé is up for questioning following losses to USC and Alabama, two teams projected to finish in the bottom half of their respective leagues, the team’s health is the biggest concern.

Fred VanVleet has been dealing with a hamstring issue since the season began, and an ankle injury limited him in a loss at Tulsa earlier this month. He won’t play again until at least Dec. 5th. and who knows when he’ll be back to full strength. The same can be said for back up point guard and freshman Landry Shamet, who underwent surgery to address a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. Their injuries have led to even more being asked of senior guard Ron Baker, and the loss of Grady for any significant amount of time certainly isn’t going to help matters..

These early-season losses won’t help Wichita State when it comes to the NCAA tournament, but it’s important to make note of the circumstances surrounding those defeats. To be shorthanded, with one of the absent players ranking among the nation’s best point guards, has an impact that has to be accounted for when evaluating Wichita State. The Shockers will add Conner Frankamp in mid-December, which will help them on the perimeter.

But with their rotation currently being in flux, it’s tough to make any definitive statements on what Wichita State will have to do in order to make another trip to the NCAA tournament. At this point Gregg Marshall and his staff will look for other contributors, one of whom being Markis McDuffie (14 points, seven rebounds vs. Alabama), to emerge and show themselves capable of picking up the slack.