Taylor Named Bob Cousy Award Finalist

March 9, 2012

#CousyAward Finalists
Isaiah Canaan Murray State
Matthew Dellavedova Saint Mary’s
Damian Lillard Weber State
Kendall Marshall North Carolina
Tyshawn Taylor Kansas

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Kansas senior Tyshawn Taylor has been named one of five finalists for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday.

This annual award is given to college basketball’s top point guard and is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtics guard Bob Cousy. An original list, consisting of 60-plus candidates from around the country, was trimmed by a Hall of Fame appointed, nationally based committee to 20, down to 11 and now five candidates remain in consideration for one of college basketball’s most prestigious awards.

Joining Taylor as finalists are Isaiah Canaan (Murray State), Matthew Dellavedova (Saint Mary’s), Damian Lillard (Weber State) and Kendall Marshall (North Carolina). Not included on the 11-member list released earlier this season, Taylor was added back into consideration by the committee as a candidate due to his performances over the last month of the season for the Jayhawks.

A consensus All-Big 12 First Team selection, Taylor guided Kansas (26-5, 16-2 Big 12) to its eighth-straight Big 12 Conference regular-season title in 2011-12. The Hoboken, N.J., guard led Kansas in conference games with an 18.6 scoring average. A two-time Big 12 Player of the Week this season, Taylor’s 17.2 points per game overall in 2011-12 rank fourth in the league.

Taylor fared well against the eight ranked foes Kansas faced in 2011-12 averaging 19.1 points, 4.9 assists and shooting 48.0 from the field, 50.0 percent from three-point range. He also had four of his 11 games with 20-points against ranked competition this season. Taylor ranks among the top six in the Big 12 in scoring (17.2 ppg), field goal percentage (49.1 percent), three-point field goal percentage (44.1 percent) and assists (4.9 apg).

A 2012 All-American Third Team by ESPN.com and Sporting News, Taylor is only the third player in KU history with the combination of at least 1,400 points, 500 assists and 150 steals in his career (1,483 points, 545 assists, 159 steals). He is in company with KU greats Darnell Valentine (1,821 points, 609 assists, 336 steals) and Kirk Hinrich (1,753 points, 668 assists, 206 steals).

As a four-year starter at Kansas, with Taylor on the floor the Jayhawks are 122-19 (86.5 percent), won four Big 12 regular-season titles, two Big 12 tourney championships and went 68-1 in Allen Fieldhouse.

The Hall of Fame’s blue ribbon selection committee, which will review the final five candidates for the award, is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers.

The winner of the 2012 Bob Cousy Award will be awarded at the Hall of Fame’s Class Announcement on Monday, April 2nd in New Orleans as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Birthplace of Basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women. James Naismith was Kansas’ first men’s basketball coach.

Taylor and the top-seeded and No. 3 Jayhawks continue Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship play against No. 12/11 Baylor in the semifinals in the Sprint Center Friday at 6:30 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPNU and through the Big 12 Network.