SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Kansas junior Devonte’ Graham has been named one of 20 candidates for the 2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday.
Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player Jerry West, the annual honor in its third year recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
Graham is one of three returning starters for Kansas, joining backcourt teammate Frank Mason III and senior forward Landen Lucas. On Monday, Oct., 17, Mason was named one of 20 for the 2017 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year watch list, also by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
From Raleigh, North Carolina, Graham was a 2016 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection and joined Mason on the five-person the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Graham averaged 11.3 points per game and was the team leader in steals with 1.4 per contest. His points ranked 19th in the conference and his steal average was 10th. Additionally, Graham was sixth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.2 and third in 3-point field goal percentage at 44.1 percent.
Graham was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2016 Big 12 Championship where he averaged 17.3 points and 6.3 assists in leading Kansas to the title. He was also a member of the NCAA Tournament All-South Region Team as KU advanced to the Elite Eight.
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. West and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2017 Jerry West Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on Friday, April 7, 2017.
Previous winners of the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award include Buddy Hield, Oklahoma (2016) and D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (2015). For more information on the 2017 Jerry West Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
Jerry West attended West Virginia University and averaged 24.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in his three varsity seasons. He led his team to the NCAA Championship game in 1959 and was named a consensus All-American in 1959 and 1960. In the summer of 1960, he was co-captain of the U.S. men’s basketball team and won an Olympic gold medal. As a professional player, West played 14 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers making the All-NBA First Team 10 times. West won an NBA championship in 1972 and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1969 despite his team not winning the championship. In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Candidates
|Nick Emery||Brigham Young University|
|James Blackmon Jr.||Indiana|
|Antonio Blakeney||Louisiana State University|
|Eron Harris||Michigan St.|
|Elijah Brown||New Mexico|
|E.C. Matthews||Rhode Island|
|Shake Milton||Southern Methodist University|
|Isaac Hamilton||University of California, Los Angeles|
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2016-17 season*