The Bob Cousy award honors the best collegiate point guard, where head coaches nominate and create the list of candidates. From the Big Ten, Purdue’s Carson Edwards and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston received nominations, whom both happen to be heading into their junior seasons.
Edwards has performed outstanding his first two seasons, especially last year, when he won the Jerry West award for the nation’s best shooting guard. He earned that award due to his 18.5 points per game and lock down defense on the perimeter with PJ Thompson.
However, last year, Edwards had the pleasure of playing with four seniors: Thompson, Dakota Mathias, Isaac Haas, and Vince Edwards. While Purdue still looks to near the top of the Big Ten once again, Edwards will have to take a more clear, established leadership role.
Meanwhile, for Winston and Michigan State, the Spartans lost two star players to the NBA, Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson. Winston thrived on his assist to turnover ratio and the ability for the Michigan State offense to spread out the floor, but without Bridges and Jackson, who knows what the offense will look like.
Lucky for Winston, Michigan State brings one of the top recruiting classes, as well as the returning players in Nick Ward and Joshua Langford. Winston also has the luxury of having Tom Izzo as his head coach, so while making a run for the Cousy Award will be challenging, it won’t be impossible.
Realistically, Edwards has a much better chance to win the award than Winston, but the question still ponders if Purdue can excel with this young of a team. Michigan State returns some starters and a decent amount of bench players, so Winston knows the tools he has and who will produce well for him throughout the season.
A name that was surprisingly not apart of the watch list is Anthony Cowan, who has constantly shouldered the load for Maryland when Kevin Huerter struggled. Now Huerter plays in the NBA, so everything points to Cowan leading the Terrapins.
Many exhibition games and in-team scrimmages will start up soon so make sure to follow along with our twitter for updates! Almost basketball season folks.