Minnesota v UCLA

Bob Cousy Award watch list released

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The Bob Cousy Award watch list was released on Tuesday morning and it runs 45 players deep.

The Cousy Award is given every year to the nation’s best point guard. The part three winners have been Kemba Walker, Kendall Marshall and Trey Burke. 

Three players on our list of top 20 lead guards — Jerian Grant, Deonte Burton and Olivier Hanlon — didn’t make the cut, which is silly. Because all three are certainly among the 45 best point guards in the country.

Here is the full list:

Kyle Anderson, UCLA
Keith Appling, Michigan State
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova
Dominic Artis, Oregon
Eric Atkins, Notre Dame
Billy Baron, Canisus
Devon Bookert, Florida State
Jason Brickman, Long Island-Brooklyn
Jahii Carson, Arizona State
Siyani Chambers, Harvard
Semaj Christon, Xavier
Jordan Clarkson, Missouri
Justin Cobbs, California
Brett Comer, Florida Gulf Coast
Quinn Cook, Duke
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Brandyn Curry, Harvard
Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado
Michael Dixon, Memphis
Kris Dunn, Providence
Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
Tim Frazier, Penn State
Andrew Harrison, Kentucky
Kasey Hill, Florida
Anthony Ireland, Loyola Marymount
Joe Jackson, Memphis
Chris Jones, Louisville
DeAndre Kane, Iowa State
Walt Lemon, Jr., Bradley
Derrick Marks, Boise State
TJ McConnell, Arizona
Preston Medlin, Utah State
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
Jake Odum, Indiana State
Marcus Paige, North Carolina
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
Elfrid Payton, Lafayette
Kendrick Perry, Youngstown StateTrevor Releford, Alabama
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Markel Starks, Georgetown
Chaz Williams, Massachusetts
Kendall Williams, New Mexico
Nigel Williams-Goss, Washington

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.