Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Awards: Top Ten Mountain West Finalists
Two Mountain West stars make the cut for college basketball’s best awards at their positions.
Derrick Alston Jr. makes the top ten for Julius Erving Award and Malachi Flynn for Bob Cousy Award.
On February 4th the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced their top ten finalists for the 2020 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. The Mountain West had one player make the cut for each list as San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn is a top-10 finalist for the Bob Cousy Award and Boise State’s Derrick Alston Jr. is a top-10 finalist for the Julius Erving Award.
Both players have been key to their team’s individual successes this season and join some of college basketball’s heavy hitters in the top ten. Malachi Flynn joins the list as one of only two players from a non-group of five team with Marquette guard Markus Howard also on the list. Flynn has been an instant impact player for San Diego State this year and is a big reason the Aztecs currently have an undefeated season, top-5 ranking and the potential for a number one seed in the big dance.
Last year’s winner, another mid-major product Ja Morant was an absolute force in college basketball last year but played for Murray State which wasn’t as well rounded as a team compared to the Aztecs and didn’t have as high of a profile as them either, San Diego State being undefeated at 25-0 and all. Flynn’s numbers aren’t as jaw dropping as Morant’s are either, when put side by side but as previously mentioned their individual situations are completely different.
Derrick Alston Jr. has led his Boise State Broncos to their current third place standing in the Mountain West with a team leading 18.4 PPG and 3.1 RPG. He was also leading the conference in scoring until a certain Wolf Pack member’s recent scoring outburst and has kept Boise State afloat as they’ve waited for mid season transfers to become eligible and others that have found more consistency in mid-February.
Last year’s Julius Erving Award winner was Rui Hachimura, whose situation may closely resemble more Malachi Flynn than Alston Jr. Hachimura’s numbers weren’t eye popping like Morant’s either, but not too many player’s were because he was Ja Morant. But he played on a dominant mid-major (yes I’ve heard the argument) powerhouse in Gonzaga (33-4, 16-0 1st in WCC & #1 seed in NCAA Tournament’s West Region) that sounds a lot like this year’s Aztec team. Hachimura was a solid leader for an uber competitive Bulldogs team. Alston Jr. has been consistent and scored in bunches and his case for further recognition will be based on his performance going forward.
Next, the Bob Cousy Award ten finalists