Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats guard T.J. McConnell on Bob Cousy Watch List

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T.J. McConnell's name is on the Bob Cousy Award Watch list but he has yet to play a game for the Wildcats

T.J. McConnell’s name is on the Bob Cousy Award Watch list but he has yet to play a game for the Wildcats

Arizona junior point guard T.J. McConnell will attempt to earn what his esteemed predecessors at Point Guard U. could not: Win the Bob Cousy Award for the best point guard in the nation.

Steve Kerr, Kenny Lofton, Matt Othick, Damon Stoudamire, Reggie Geary, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry and Jason Gardner took home plenty of honors in their careers but not the Cousy award.

McConnell has long odds as a transfer from Duquesne who did not play last year per NCAA transfer rules. Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and ASU’s Jahii Carson are the clear frontrunners for the award.


Other Pac-12 players listed: Kyle Anderson of UCLA, Justin Cobbs of Cal, Spencer Dinwiddie of Colorado, Dominic Artis of Oregon and Nigel Williams-Goss of Washington.

Reporter and author Steve Rivera, who writes for, has seen his share of UA games as a Tucson Citizen beat reporter for almost 20 years. He wrote recently that McConnell is the “truest point guard Arizona has had since Jason Gardner a decade ago.”

“He brings intensity at each end; for example, Arizona will be able to attack more in both the full-court and half-court because of McConnell’s tenacity and zeal for the game,” Rivera writes.

Mustafa Shakur, Nic Wise, Lamont “MoMo” Jones, Josiah Turner and Mark Lyons followed Gardner.

Shakur may have not lived up to his five-star billing entering the UA, but he is a class act who has played professionally overseas and in the NBA D-League the last six years. Wise, an All-Pac-10 selections as a senior, was beset first by weight issues and then later knee problems but he persevered. He will play in Turkey this season.

Jones, Turner and Lyons played out of position mostly because of Arizona’s needs.


Steve Kerr: Announcer for NBA telecasts on TBS and college basketball on CBS.
Kenny Lofton: Analyst for Dodger pre- and post-game shows on Fox Sports.
Matt Othick: Owner of Crust Pizzeria in Carlsbad, Calif.
Damon Stoudamire: First year as an assistant Arizona after playing 13 years in the NBA and serving as an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies and Memphis Tigers (under former UA reserve guard and assistant Josh Pastner).
Reggie Geary: In his third year as a head coach in the Japanese professional league. His team won the title last year.
Mike Bibby: The 14-year NBA veteran is volunteering at his alma mater Phoenix Shadow Mountain coaching his son, a sophomore there.
Jason Terry: In his 15th season in the NBA, playing for the Brooklyn Nets.
Jason Gardner: In his first season as an assistant at Memphis with Pastner after serving on the staff at Loyola (Chicago) last season.
Mustafa Shakur: He is currently not signed after playing in Europe and with Rio Grande and Erie of the D-League last year.
Nic Wise: In his first season playing professionally in Turkey after playing the last three years in Poland, Italy, France and Germany.
MoMo Jones: In his first season playing professionally in Japan after completing his collegiate career at Iona last season.
Josiah Turner: Unsigned at this point after playing professionally for two teams in Canada last year.
Mark Lyons: In his first season playing professionally in France.

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