Bronson Koenig (Ho-Chunk Nation)/ Photo by GREG NELSON
Published October 14, 2015
MADISON, WISCONSIN – Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig (Ho-Chunk Nation) of the Wisconsin men’s basketball team were named to watch lists for the Julius Erving Award and Bob Cousy Award, respectively, as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Each watch list contains the top 20 players at its position, as the Julius Erving Award recognizes the top small forward in the nation and the Bob Cousy Award recognizes the top point guard in the country.
A preseason All-American from the Sporting News, Hayes started all 40 games for the Badgers last season and finished third on the team in scoring (12.4 ppg) and second in rebounds (6.2 rpg). Koenig, also a junior, started the final 24 games a year ago, averaging 11.5 points and 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 50-for-113 (.442) from 3-point range over that stretch.
The Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award is named after the Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA All-Star, Julius Erving, and is in its second year of recognizing the best small forwards. The Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic, Bob Cousy, and is in its 13th season of recognizing the top point guards.
Former Badger and first-round NBA draft pick Sam Dekker was one of five finalists for the Julius Erving Award last season in its inaugural year.
Wisconsin has had two Bob Cousy Award finalists in its history. Devin Harris was a finalist in 2004 and most recently Jordan Taylor was in 2011. Taylor was also a preseason candidate again in 2012, as was Trevon Hughes in 2010 and Kammron Taylor in 2007.
Both watch lists will be narrowed down to 10 in mid-February and then five finalists will be selected in March. Both winners of the award will be presented at the second annual ESPN College Basketball Awards Show live from Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California, on Friday, April 8, 2016.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in NDNSports.com. Used with permission. All rights reserved.