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IU’s James Blackmon a finalist for Jerry West Award

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, February 01, 2017 01:36 am
BLOOMINGTON – James Blackmon is sidelined right now, but his reputation as one of the nation’s top shooting guards sure isn’t. The Indiana junior is one of 10 finalists for the Jerry West Award, which goes annually to the best shooting guard in college basketball.

Blackmon, a former Bishop Luers standout, leads IU in scoring at 17.6 points. He averages 49.4 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from three-point range.

He beat Penn State with a three-pointer at the buzzer two weeks ago. He followed that with a career-high 33 points in a win over Michigan State. That earned him Big Ten co-player-of-the-week honors.

He’s missed the last two games with an apparent right knee injury.

The other finalists are Kentucky’s Malik Monk, Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia, UCLA’s Bryce Alford (yes, that is former IU All-America Steve Alford’s son), Cincinnati’s Jacob Evans, Duke’s Luke Kennard, Gonzaga’s Jordan Mathews, Iowa’s Peter Jok, Kansas’s Devonte Graham and Creighton’s Marcus Foster.

Five finalists will be named in March. The winner will be announced in April.

Previous winners include Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield last season and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell in 2015.

For those who don’t remember Jerry West, he was one of the greatest scorers in college history. During his three seasons at West Virginia, which came without the three-point shot, by the way, he averaged 24.8 points and 13.3 rebounds. He was an All-America in 1959 and 1960, and led West Virginia to the 1960 national title game. He also was co-captain for the United State’s 1960 gold medal winning team.

He played 14 years for the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, and made the all-NBA team 10 times. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

So now you know.


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