Feb. 18, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Since assuming the staring point guard duties at the start of his sophomore season in 2011, Eric Atkins has been the model of consistency in the Notre Dame backcourt. One of just five players in the history of the Irish men's basketball program with better than 1,000 points and 500 assists, Atkins also is the program's first -ever three-time captain.
Currently in the midst of the best season of his collegiate career as he is averaging 14.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals, Atkins was named one of 23 watch list finalists for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. He is one four players from the Atlantic Coast Conference named to the list. Atkins has twice been named this season ACC Player of the Week.
Atkins has played in 127 career outings for the Irish (tied for eighth on the Notre Dame career list) and has made starts in 99 of those contests. On the road at Miami on Wednesday night (Feb. 19), he would become just the ninth player to start 100 or more games. It also will mark the 94th consecutive start for Atkins.
The Columbia, Md., native has 1,344 career points (good for 24th on the all-time career scoring list) and 559 assists (fourth all-time). He owns a career 10.8 scoring average and 4.4 career assist average. Atkins has dished off 100 or more assists in each of his four seasons with the Irish and is one of just four players in program history to accomplish that feat.
Named after Hall of Fame and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, the award annually recognizes the top point guards in men's basketball. A national committee narrowed the original watch list of 80 candidates down to 23.
Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award have included Raymond Felton (North Carolina), Dee Brown (Illinois), Acie Law (Texas A & M), DJ Augustin (Texas), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), Kemba Walker (Connecticut), Kendall Marshall (North Carolina) and last year's recipient Trey Burke (Michigan).
In addition to Atkins, the 22 other watch list finalists this year include: Jahii Carson (Arizona State), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), Siyani Chambers (Harvard), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), DeAndre Kane (Iowa State), Jason Brickman (LIU Brookyln), Keith Appling (Michigan State), Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Xavier Thames (San Diego State), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), T.J. McConnell (Arizona), Justin Cobbs (California), Kyle Anderson (UCLA), Shabazz Napier (Connecticut), Scottie Wilbekin (Florida), Chaz Williams (Massachusetts), Kendall Williams (New Mexico), Marcus Paige (North Carolina), James Robinson (Pittsburgh), Juwan Staten (West Virginia) and Fred VanVleet (Wichita State).
Beginning Tuesday Feb. 18 and running through Monday, March 10, fans from around the country will have the chance to vote for the top point guard in college basketball - fan voting begins on www.cousyaward.com at 10:00AM EST. The current listing of 23 finalists for the 2014 Bob Cousy Award will be narrowed down to five players by early March. The final five players in contention for the award will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The Hall of Fame committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Hall of Famers and Sports Information Directors. The winner of the 2014 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at the Hall of Fame's Class announcement on Championship Monday in North Texas as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.