Battle Named Finalist For 2010 Bob Cousy Award
Jan. 5, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Jan. 5, 2010 - Nittany Lion junior Talor Battle (Albany, N.Y.) has been named one of 20 finalists for the 2010 Bob Cousy Award presented by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. The annual award, named after NBA Hall of Famer and Boston Celtic great Bob Cousy, is presented to college basketball's top point guard.
"Bob Cousy was one of the best to ever play the game and this is a tremendous recognition of Talor's abilities and his national standing as one of the most outstanding players in college basketball," Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis said. "He's had a tremendous career and junior season so far, and we expect the best is yet to come."
Battle, a 2009 first-team All-Big Ten selection, ranks second in the Big Ten averaging 18.8 ppg and leads Penn State in scoring, rebounding (5.7 rpg), assists (3.6 apg) and minutes played on the year. Battle's two 30-point games lead the Big Ten and his six 20-point outings are second only to Michigan's Manny Harris, who was also named among the finalists for the award.
Battle has posted a pair of career-high 32-point outings on the season in Penn State's games vs. Virginia and Virginia Tech and equaled a then career-high with 29 points vs. UNC-Wilmington. He has moved into 16th all-time on the Nittany Lion career scoring charts with 1,215 points and into the 10th all-time in career assists with 338. Battle set the Nittany Lion's single-season assist record with 189 last season and has led Penn State in scoring in 33 career games and in assists in 57.
Battle was one of four Big Ten players named a Cousy Award finalist and was joined by Harris, Kalin Lucas (Michigan State) and Trevon Hughes (Wisconsin). Other notable players named to the final 20 were: John Wall (Kentucky), Jon Scheyer (Duke), Kemba Walker (Connecticut), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova) and Sherron Collins (Kansas).
"This list makes up college basketball's elite at the point guard position," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. "These 20 players in contention for the award all have skills that Mr. Cousy would be proud of. The Hall of Fame looks forward to having these players compete for one of college basketball's most prestigious awards."
The list of 20 finalists will be narrowed down to 10 players by February 1 and then to five players by March 1. The final five players will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The award will be presented as the Hall of Fame's Class Announcement on Monday April 5 in Indianapolis as part of the NCAA Final Four weekend. Previous winners have included: Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's), Dee Brown (Illinois), DJ Augustin (Texas) and Ty Lawson (North Carolina).
Battle and Penn State will take on Harris and Michigan Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center. The game will be televised live on ESPN2. Battle and Harris have faced each other four times on their careers with each posting big numbers and some career games. No match-up was bigger than their duel at Penn State in 2008 when Battle posted 28 points, 13 rebounds and six assists while Harris logged 29 points, five boards and an assist in a 69-61 PSU victory. Both players have logged double-figures in three of the four games with Battle averaging 16.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 4.0 apg and Harris posting 19.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 2.5 apg. The teams have split the four games, each winning two at home.