University of Oklahoma sophomore Jordan Woodard is one of 36 players named to the 2015 Bob Cousy Award Watch List, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in men's college basketball.
During his rookie campaign a year ago, Woodard averaged 10.3 points per game and a team-high 4.6 assists (ranked sixth in the Big 12). The Arcadia, Okla., native set an OU freshman record with 146 free throw makes and finished three assists shy of setting the school freshman standard in that category (registered 152).
Woodard, one of four returning starters on this year's squad that is ranked No. 19 in the preseason AP and USA Today Top 25 Polls, started all 33 games for the Sooners last year, one shy of the school freshman record. He ranked fifth in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2) and free throw makes per game (4.4), sixth in assists and seventh in free throw percentage (.777).
The Cousy Award watch list will be narrowed to a final 20 in early February, then to a final five in early March. A selection committee comprised of top college basketball personnel, including media members, head coaches, media relations contacts and Hall of Famers, will select the award recipient. The winner will be presented the award on Monday, April 6 in Indianapolis at the Hall of Fame's class of 2015 announcement and press Conference.
Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award have included Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's), Raymond Felton (North Carolina), Dee Brown (Illinois), Acie Law (Texas A&M), D.J. Augustin (Texas), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), Kemba Walker (Connecticut), Kendall Marshall (North Carolina), Trey Burke (Michigan) and Shabazz Napier (Connecticut).
The Sooners open the 2014-15 season Friday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. CT in a home exhibition game against Washburn. OU will also play a Nov. 11 home exhibition game inside McCasland Field House against Southwestern Oklahoma State before starting regular season play Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. against Southeastern Louisiana inside Lloyd Noble Center.
Other notable candidates include T.J. McConnell (Arizona), Marcus Paige (UNC), Ryan Boatright (UConn), Andrew Harrison (Kentucky) and Fred VanFleet (Wichita State).