Kobe Bryant (l) and Glen Keane
Kobe Bryant (l) and Glen Keane
MEXICO CITY – Phil Mickelson won the 2018 World Golf Championship – Mexico on the first hole of a playoff against golf’s Player of the Year, Justin Thomas. Mickelson missed a potential tournament-winning birdie putt on the first playoff hole by less than an inch and putted-in for par but Thomas missed his par putt to provide the victory for Mickelson.
SPRINGFIELD (MA) – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced five finalists for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. Named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic guard Bob Cousy, the annual honor now in its 15th year recognizes the top point guards in Division I men’s college basketball.
A national committee of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers narrowed the original watch list of 20 players down to 10 candidates and now just five finalists. This month, the five finalists will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
“For fifteen years, I have been very honored to have my name associated with this award annually presented to the best point guards in college basketball,” Bob Cousy said. “Many young men who have earned this award have gone on to compete at the highest level of the game and the finalists should be very proud of themselves.”
The five finalists for the 2018 Bob Cousy Award are Devonte’ Graham (Kansas), Joel Barry II (North Carolina), Trae Young (Oklahoma), Jalen Brunson (Villanova), and Jevon Carter (West Virginia).
The winner of the 2018 Bob Cousy Award will be honored at ESPN’s College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 6, 2018 (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2). Additional awards being presented include the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award.
Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award include Frank Mason III, Kansas (2017), Tyler Ulis, Kentucky (2016), Delon Wright, Utah (2015), Shabazz Napier, Connecticut (2014), Trey Burke, Michigan (2013), Kendall Marshall, North Carolina (2012), Kemba Walker, Connecticut (2011), Greivis Vasquez, Maryland (2010), Ty Lawson, North Carolina (2009), DJ Augustin, Texas (2008), Acie Law, Texas A & M (2007), Dee Brown, Illinois (2006), Raymond Felton, North Carolina (2005) and Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph’s (2004).
For more information on the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, visit www.HoophallAwards.com.
Cousy played collegiate basketball for Holy Cross from 1946-1950, winning the NCAA Championship in 1947. He was named a Consensus First-Team All-American in 1950. His success continued at the professional level as a six-time NBA Champion (1957, 1959-1963), NBA Most Valuable Player (1957) and 13-time NBA All-Star (1951-63). In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and in 1971 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
NEW YORK – Three BIG EAST standouts were unanimous selections to the 2017-18 All-BIG EAST First Team, announced today by the league. The conference announced the All-BIG EAST First and Second Teams, Honorable Mention and the All-Freshman Team. The league’s head coaches choose the all-conference teams and are not permitted to vote for their own players.
Trevon Bluiett of Xavier
The three unanimous picks are: Trevon Bluiett of Xavier, Jalen Brunson of Villanova and Kelan Martin of Butler. The three other All-BIG EAST First Team picks are Marcus Foster of Creighton, Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s and Mikal Bridges of Villanova. Bluiett became only the 13th player in BIG EAST history to earn first-team honors three times. Brunson is a two-time first-team selection. Martin has been an all-conference second team pick the past two years.
The BIG EAST Player of the Year will come from the All-BIG EAST First Team. The conference will announce Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year and the BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, March 7. The announcement will be made on the first day of the BIG EAST Tournament Presented by Jeep at Madison Square Garden at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Other league individual awards — BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man Award and Sportsmanship Award — will be announced Monday, March 5.
Bluiett was the prime contributor for the Musketeers who won their first BIG EAST regular-season title with a 15-3 record and a 27-4 overall mark. The 6-6 senior ranked sixth in the league in scoring with a 19.4 average and was third in the conference with 96 3-pointers made. Bluiett’s hit 43.4 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, which ranked fourth.
Brunson guided Villanova to a 27-4 record and a 14-4 BIG EAST mark, averaging 19.0 points and 4.8 assists. He ranks fifth in the conference in field goal shooting, making 52.8 percent. The 2017-18 Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year, the 6-2 junior leads the league in assist/turnover ratio with a +2.9 mark.
Martin is the BIG EAST scoring champion, averaging 23.6 points in league games. The 6-7 senior scored at least 20 points in 12 of his 18 league games and ended the regular season with a 35-point effort in a game at Seton Hall. In all games, Martin is second in scoring with a 21.2 average.
Creighton’s Foster earned first team honors for a second straight season by averaging 20.3 points and shooting 42.6 percent from 3-point range. His scoring average ranks fourth in the BIG EAST and his 3-point shooting mark is fifth. The 6-3 senior helped the Bluejays to a 10-8 record.
St. John’s Ponds garnered All-BIG EAST First Team accolades after being named to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team last season. The only sophomore on the first team, the guard led the BIG EAST in scoring and steals in all games. He averaged 21.6 points and 2.5 steals. In league games, Ponds was second to Butler’s Martin in scoring with a 21.9 mark.
Bridges teamed with Brunson for the Villanova success which included eight weeks as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation in the Associated Press poll. The 6-7 junior averaged 17.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and was third in the league in steals with a 1.6 mark.
The All-BIG EAST Second Team has two seniors, two juniors and a freshman. The seniors are Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado and Desi Rodriguez. Delgado won his second straight BIG EAST rebounding crown with an 11.9 average. He is the BIG EAST’s all-time leading rebounder in league play with 828. This season, the 6-10 senior averaged 13.4 points and 11.6 rebounds in all games. The 6-7 Rodriguez emerged as the Seton Hall scoring leader with an 18.1 average and a 5.0 rebounding mark.
Creighton’s Thomas is one of the league’s most versatile players. The 6-3 junior averaged 15.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals. He was the top shooting guard in the league making 54.5 percent from the field. Thomas also owns an outstanding reputation for defense.
The other junior, Georgetown’s Marcus Derrickson, broke through as a strong contributor by averaging 15.7 points and 8.1 rebounds. His rebound mark ranked third in the BIG EAST.
Marquette’s Howard set the BIG EAST single game scoring record with a 52-point effort at Providence on Jan. 3. For the season, the 5-11 sophomore ranked third in scoring with a 20.9 average and led the league in free throw shooting, connecting on 93.9 percent (93-of-99).
Two players received BIG EAST Honorable Mention recognition: seniors Andrew Rowsey of Marquette and Kyron Cartwright of Providence. Rowsey averaged 19.9 points and was first in the BIG EAST with 101 made 3-pointers. Cartwright averaged 11.4 points and a league-leading 5.8 assists.
The BIG EAST Freshman of the Year will come from the All-Freshman Team. Three players were unanimous selections: Jamorko Pickett of Georgetown, Omari Spellman of Villanova and Naji Marshall of Xavier.
Spellman, a 6-9 forward, is the top freshman scorer in the BIG EAST with a 10.9 average. He ranks fourth in the BIG EAST in rebounding with a 7.8 average. The 6-7 Marshall has become a starter in the second half of the season and is averaging 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds. Pickett, a 6-8 forward, is third on the Hoya squad in scoring with a 9.8 mark and a 3.7 rebounding average. Pickett’s teammate, guard Jahvon Blair, has filled a sixth man role and is averaging 9.3 points.
Creighton’s Ballock also has filled an important role off the bench. The 6-5 guard is averaging 6.9 points and 2.7 rebounds while averaging 20.6 minute per game. Providence’s Watson, a 6-10 center, has seen his playing increase late in the season. He is averaging 6.8 points while making 60.4 percent of his shots from the field.
ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
*Kelan Martin, Butler, F, Sr., 6-7, 220, Louisville, Ky.
Marcus Foster, Creighton, G, Sr., 6-3, 210, Wichita Falls, Tex.
Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s, G, So., 6-1, 165, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mikal Bridges, Villanova, G/F, Jr., 6-7, 210, Malvern, Pa.
*Jalen Brunson, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-2, 190, Lincolnshire, Ill.
*Trevon Bluiett, Xavier, G, Sr., 6-6, 205, Indianapolis, Ind.
ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM
Khyri Thomas, Creighton, G, Jr., 6-3, 210, Omaha, Neb.
Marcus Derrickson, Georgetown, F, Jr., 6-7, 250, Bowie, Md.
Markus Howard, Marquette, G, So., 5-11, 175, Chandler, Ariz.
Angel Delgado, Seton Hall, C, Sr., 6-10, 245, Bajos De Haina, D.R.
Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall, F, Sr., 6-6, 220, Bronx, N.Y.
BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION
Andrew Rowsey, Marquette, G, Sr., 5-11, 180, Lexington, Va.
Kyron Cartwright, Providence, G, Sr., 5-11, 185, Compton, Calif.
BIG EAST ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Mitch Ballock, Creighton, G, 6-5, 205, Eudora, Kan.
Jahvon Blair, Georgetown, G, 6-3, 189, Brampton, Ont.
*Jamorko Pickett, Georgetown, G, 6-8, 190, Washington, D.C.
Nate Watson, Providence, C, 6-10, 260, Arlington, Va.
*Omari Spellman, Villanova, F, 6-9, 245, Cleveland, Ohio
*Naji Marshall, Xavier, F, 6-7, 218, Atlantic City, N.J.
*Denotes unanimous selection.
Celtics’ Gordon Hayward (c)
NHL Stadium Series at Annapolis
BOSTON – Brad Marchand scored the decisive goal with 2:54 left in overtime to give the Boston Bruins a season series sweep of the rival Montreal Canadiens with a come-from-behind 2-1 win Saturday at TD Garden in Boston.
It was the 10th career game-winning OT goal for Marchand, who took the puck and skated around the back of the Canadiens’ net, firing his wrist shot from directly in front of the crease past goalie Antti Niemi.
Marchand’s goal was his 25th of the season, and Jake DeBrusk (13 goals) also scored for the Bruins. Anton Khudobin made 27 saves to help Boston win its third straight game, coming off an 8-4 triumph against defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Brendan Gallagher (23) scored the only goal for the Canadiens, and Niemi had a season-high 48 saves. Montreal had its two-game win streak snapped following a stretch in which it dropped eight of nine games (1-4-4).
Boston won the first two regular-season meetings with Montreal this season during an eight-day stretch from Jan. 13-20, outscoring the Canadiens 12-5.
Khudobin got the start in goal because Boston’s starting netminder Tuukka Rask was dealing with what coach Bruce Cassidy called a “very minor” injury. Cassidy said he wanted to give Rask an extra day’s rest before their next game Tuesday.
Boston’s Charlie McAvoy left the game with an apparent right leg injury just 37 seconds in after falling to the ice during a scrum involving Gallagher. The Bruins later updated his condition as a lower-body injury and deemed him unlikely to return.
The Bruins’ rookie defenseman missed four games following a heart procedure earlier this year.
Gallagher’s unassisted goal with 10:44 left in the first period put Montreal up 1-0 after he intercepted a cross-ice pass from Kevan Miller and skated to the top of the right circle before firing a wrister past two Bruins defenders to beat Khudobin high stick-side.
Jonathan Drouin’s delay of game penalty after sending a puck over the glass with 4:35 remaining put the Bruins on a power play, and DeBrusk capitalized as he scored on a one-timer with 2:45 remaining to tie it and force overtime.
Before the game, the Canadiens announced Max Pacioretty (lower body) and Victor Mete (hand) both returned to Montreal on Saturday afternoon for further evaluation.
Montreal continues its six-game road trip Tuesday versus New Jersey. Boston continues its six-game homestand Tuesday against Detroit.
–Field Level Media
HOUSTON – Trevor Ariza nailed the game-tying 3-pointer and later added a go-ahead layup as the Houston Rockets rallied for a 123-120 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics on Saturday at Toyota Center.
Shredded by the Celtics’ sublime offensive execution throughout, the Rockets arrived defensively at an opportune time. P.J. Tucker set up the Ariza 3-pointer with a steal off Terry Rozier before Ariza pilfered Kyrie Irving and dashed for a layup with 1:16 left for a 117-115 lead.
Houston extended its winning streak to 15 games and gained a measure of revenge against the Celtics, who rallied from a 26-point deficit for a 99-98 win in Boston on Dec. 28.
The Celtics had their four-game winning streak snapped despite an impressive performance from their bench.
Marcus Morris scored 21 points, including 11 during a blistering two-plus-minute stretch in the fourth as Boston seized a 108-102 lead. Greg Monroe added 18 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes while Rozier scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Boston recorded 67 bench points.
Irving finished with 18 points and six assists.
Eric Gordon scored 29 points off the Houston bench, making 7 of 11 from behind the 3-point arc. James Harden added 26 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists while Ariza scored 21 points. Clint Capela grabbed 17 boards.
The Celtics shot 48.4 percent overall and finished 13 for 24 on 3-point tries, including a desperation heave from Marcus Smart that just missed at the buzzer.
One torrid stretch from the perimeter gave the Rockets the notion that their offense could offset their defense. Houston strung together three successive 3-pointers to claim a 17-13 lead before Luc Mbah a Moute added a corner trey and a baseline drive to up the advantage to 30-22.
But then the Celtics’ reserves made their presence felt, sparking a 10-0 run that closed the opening period. Boston carried that momentum into the second, scoring with ease while building its lead to 47-38 on a Monroe hook shot with 8:29 remaining in the half. The Celtics’ 25-8 surge was highlighted by a series of open perimeter looks, and when the break arrived, Boston went to the locker room having shot 53.5 percent overall and 8 of 13 from 3-point range.
–Field Level Media
CHICAGO – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Xavier held off a late rally and won 65-62 at DePaul Saturday afternoon to win its first outright BIG EAST regular-season crown and earn the No. 1 seed in The BIG EAST Tournament. The BIG EAST tourney returns to Madison Square Garden for the 36th consecutive year on March 7-10.
Jalen Brunson in last year’s BIG EAST Tournament
The Musketeers, as the top seed with a 15-3 record, will open on Thursday at noon ET against the winner of the battle between No. 8 Georgetown and No. 9 St. John’s, which opens the tournament on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.
Villanova, which defeated Georgetown 97-73, is the No. 2 seed with a 14-4 mark. The Wildcats will play the winner of the matchup between No. 7 Marquette and No. 10 DePaul on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.
Saturday began with no tournament seeds set and it took the final game of the night between Seton Hall and Butler to complete the bracket. The Pirates beat Butler 77-70 to gain the No. 3 seed in a three-way tie with Creighton and Providence at 10-8. Butler will be the No. 6 seed. The two teams will meet again in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
FS1 will televise all rounds until the championship game moves to FOX.
BIG EAST Tournament Schedule
First Round – FS1
Wednesday, March 7
No. 8 Georgetown vs. No. 9 St. John’s, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Marquette vs. No. 10 DePaul, 9:30 p.m.
Quarterfinal Round – FS1
Thursday, March 8
No. 1 Xavier vs. Georgetown/St. John’s winner, Noon
No. 4 Creighton vs. No. 5 Providence, 2:30 p.m.
No. 2 Villanova vs. Marquette/DePaul winner, 7 p.m.
No. 3 Seton Hall vs. No. 6 Butler, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals Round – FS1
Friday, March 9
Thursday afternoon winners, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday evening winners, 9 p.m.
Final Round — FOX
Saturday, March 10
Championship Game, 6:30 p.m.