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Nowell Wins Bob Cousy Award




MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Markquis Nowell was announced as the winner of the 2023 Bob Cousy Point Guard Award by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame during the ESPN College GameDay Show on Saturday (April 1).

The award, which annually honors the top point guard in Division I men’s basketball, is named after former Boston Celtic and Holy Cross guard Bob Cousy, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971.

Nowell is the 20th winner of the award, which dates to the inaugural winner – Saint Joseph’s Jameer Nelson in 2004. He is the fourth Big 12 player to capture the award, joining Texas A&M’s Acie Law IV in 2007, Texas’ D.J. Augustin in 2008 and Kansas’ Frank Mason III. Villanova’s Collin Gillespie won the award in 2022.

Nowell was selected for the award over a finalist list that included Marquette’s Tyler Kolek, Northwestern’s Boo Buie, Penn State’s Jalen Pickett and Saint Louis’ Yuri Collins.

Nowell is the first Wildcat to win one of the positional awards annually given out by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, which includes the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, Jerry West Shooting Guard Award, Julius Erving Small Forward Award, Karl Malone Power Forward Award and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award.

“I’m honored to receive the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard,” said Nowell. “To be mentioned among the best players in the country at my position is truly a blessing. I want to give all the honor and glory to God for giving me the platform to showcase my talents and gifts this season. I’m not here without his grace.

“I can’t thank my teammates and coaches enough for all their hard work and sacrifice. It all started with Ish (Massoud) and I, and Coach (Jerome) Tang and his staff were able build a team around us and we became like brothers. We had a great year that I will always remember. I also want to thank my family for their sacrifice in helping me become the player and man I am today. Finally, a special shout out to K-State Nation for all their love and support during my career.”

The honor is yet another for the 5-foot-7, 160-pound point guard from Harlem, N.Y., who ended his college career with a magical run through the NCAA Tournament in helping K-State advance to its 13th Elite Eight and first since 2018. Nowell averaged 23.5 points, 13.5 assists and 4.0 steals during his 4-game NCAA Tournament run, including 25 points and 15.5 assists in the games against Michigan State and Florida Atlantic en route to earning Most Outstanding Player honors for the NCAA East Regional.

Nowell’s 54 assists in the NCAA Tournament are the third-most in the tournament’s history and the most since Michigan’s Rumeal Robinson had 56 in 1989. He dished out a tournament and school-record 19 assists in the win over the Spartans. He finished his college career with just the second 30-point, 10-assist game in school history, as he led the way with game-highs in points (30), assists (12) and steals (5) in playing all 40 minutes against the Owls. He is the first player with at least 25 points and 10 assists in a game in the Elite Eight or later since Marquette’s Dwyane Wade had a triple-double (29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists) against Kentucky in 2003.

Nowell was named a Third Team All-American by The Associated Press, The Sporting News, NABC and USBWA, while he was selected to the Midseason National Player of the Year Watch Lists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Award. In addition, he was chosen to the All-Big 12 First Team by the league coaches and AP as well as Big 12 All-Defensive Team by the coaches. He was 3 times named the Big 12 Player of the Week as well as the consensus National Player of the Week on Jan. 9.

Nowell averaged a team-best 17.6 points on 38.6 percent (180-of-466) from the field, including 35.5 percent (88-of-248) from 3-point range, and 88.9 percent (185-of-208) from the free throw line to go along with a Big 12-best 8.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 steals in 36.9 minutes per game. He ranks in the Big 12’s top-3 in 13 categories, including tops in assists (297), assists/game, free throws made (185) and attempted (208), free throw percentage, steals (92), steals/game and minutes.

Nowell finished Big 12 play, ranking first in 6 categories, including scoring (19.5 ppg.), 3-point field goals/game (2.8), assists (7.2 apg.), steals (2.8 spg.), free throw percentage (91.1) and minutes (38.8 mpg.).

Nowell finished second nationally in assists/game (8.3 apg.), total assists (297) and total steals (92), while he ranked among the top-15 in 4 other categories, including sixth in steals/game (2.6 spg.), seventh in free throws made (185), 14th in free throw percentage and minutes. He posted 11 games of 10 or more assists this season, while he had 10 points/assists double-doubles, including the school’s first 30-10 double-double with 32 points and 14 assists in the win at No. 19/16 Baylor on Jan. 7.

Nowell leaves K-State as the single-season leader in total assists and steals, assists/game as well as the career leader in assists/game (6.87), while he ranks in the top-5 single-season double-double scoring games (33/4th), 3-point field goals (88/5th), free throws (185/5th) and free throw percentage (88.9/5th).

Nowell’s 968 points in his 2-year career are the second-most by a Division I transfer in school history, while he is third in career assists (433) and fifth in career steals (151).

Nowell helped K-State to 26-win season and its 13th trip to the Elite Eight in 2022-23. The 26 wins are the third-most in school history and the most since winning 27 in 2012-13.

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