NORMAN – Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young is one of five finalists for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Monday. Named after Hall of Fame guard Bob Cousy, the annual honor is now in its fifteenth year of recognizing the top point guard in Division I men’s college basketball.
Young is joined in the group of finalists by Devonte’ Graham (Kansas), Joel Barry II (North Carolina), Jalen Brunson (Villanova) and Jevon Carter (West Virginia).
A national committee of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers narrowed the original watch list of 20 players down to the five finalists. Later this month, the five finalists will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fans are encouraged to visit www.HoophallAwards.com to cast their votes between now and March 23.
Young being named a Cousy Award finalist is an added accomplishment to a growing list of national recognitions. In the past week, Young was also named a Naismith Trophy semifinalist and selected for the national ballot for the Wooden Award. On Sunday, he was chosen as the Big 12 Conference’s Freshman of the Year and was a unanimous selection for the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Newcomer Team.
A 6-2 guard from Norman, Young leads the nation in scoring (27.5 points per game) and assists (8.9). No player in recorded NCAA history has finished a season leading the country in both scoring and assists.
Young has totaled 826 points in his freshman season – the most ever in a regular season by a Big 12 player. He is just the second player from a major conference to reach 800 points during the regular season in the past 20 years, joining JJ Redick of Duke (833 in 2005-06). Young is also the only freshman in Division I basketball to score 800 points in a regular season during the Big 12 era.
The freshman is putting up his scoring numbers while passing out a nation-leading 267 assists. He is the second player in NCAA Division I history to total 800 points and 250 assists in the same season and the first ever from a major conference. Oakland’s Key Felder (2015-16) is the only other Division I player to produce an 800-point, 250-assist season since the NCAA began tracking assists in 1983.
Young’s 267 dimes are the fifth most by a freshman in NCAA history - 21 shy of the NCAA record (288) set by Duke's Bobby Hurley in 1989-90. Young is five assists shy of tying of the Big 12’s freshman assists record, set by T.J. Ford of Texas (273 in 2001-02).
The guard isn’t just breaking school and conference records, he’s also tied one of the most impressive single-game records in college hoops history. By dishing out 22 assists against Northwestern State on Dec. 19, he tied the NCAA record for most assists in a game (assists became official in 1983-84) while breaking both Oklahoma and Big 12 records (both were 18 assists). Young is the fourth player in recorded college basketball history to register 22 assists and the first since Sherman Douglas of Syracuse in 1989. Since the NCAA began recording assists in 1983, Young is the only freshman to dish out 20 or more assists in a game.
The winner of the 2018 Bob Cousy Award will be honored at ESPN’s College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles on Friday, April 6.