By TIGER RAG NEWS SERVICES
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – LSU sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney has been named by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the 20-player watch list for the 2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award announced on Tuesday.
Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West, the annual honor in its third year recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
Blakeney, a member of the 2016 All-SEC Freshman team, averaged over 18 points over the final portion of the 2016 season, all against SEC competition. He had two 30-plus point games against Mississippi State and Florida and was one of the top scorers in the league over the final month of the season. He posted 55 three-point makes last season and made 31-of-his-last-32 free throw attempts including a streak of 28 straight.
Blakeney is one of three players from the Southeastern Conference on the list joining Dusty Hannahs of Arkansas and Malik Monk of Kentucky.
“Jerry West is one of the best shooting guards to ever play the game, and is undoubtedly one of the most competitive players as well,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The twenty collegiate athletes on this list have proven to have a similar work ethic and we look forward to seeing their results as they compete this season.”
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. West and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2017 Jerry West Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 7, 2017. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Previous winners of the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award include Buddy Hield, Oklahoma (2016) and D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (2015). For more information on the 2017 Jerry West Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Candidates
Nick Emery/Brigham Young University
James Blackmon Jr./Indiana
Eron Harris/Michigan St.
Elijah Brown/New Mexico
E.C. Matthews/Rhode Island
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2016-17 season*