Siyani Chambers’ rookie season keeps on getting better.
On Thursday, the freshman was named a candidate for the prestigious Bob Cousy Award, given annually to the best point guard in the country, by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Chambers is one of just four freshman to be nominated for the honor, including Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, who entered the season as the nation’s top guard prospect, according to ESPN.
Chambers, in contrast, was ranked the 45th-best incoming floor general by ESPN. But he has not played that way thus far this year.
Through nine games, the freshman has emerged as the Crimson’s second leading scorer, averaging 12.6 points per contest while shooting nearly 50 percent from behind the arc. Chambers also leads the Ancient Eight with 5.1 assists per game and a 94.4 percent free-throw percentage; the latter number is fifth-best in the country.
"What can you say about Siyani?" Crimson coach Tommy Amaker said last Tuesday. "He's been the heart and soul for us this year."
It is the leadership that Chambers has provided filling in for departed former co-captain Brandyn Curry that has been especially important on his young team.
Despite playing 37 minutes a night—16th most in the nation—Chambers has been at his best late in games, most recently in the team’s 65-64 victory over Terriers, when he hit a game-winning jumper with five seconds to go.
For his performance against BU, Chambers won his second Ivy League Rookie of the Week award. Now, he’s a nominee for a much larger piece of hardware.
The initial list of 80 Cousy nominees will be narrowed down to 20, 10, and then a final five by March 1, after which the award will be determined by a selection committee.
Chambers is one of two Ivy League point guards to earn a Cousy nomination, along with Columbia’s Brian Barbour. Both are looking to become the first player from the conference to reach the award’s next stage since Jeremy Lin ’10 made the Top 11 three years ago.
“The Hall of Fame is proud to continue its mission with Mr. Cousy to celebrate and honor the top collegiate point guards in the country,” John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a statement. “This list represents a large range of college basketball's top student athletes from across the country. We are excited to recognize these players for their continuous hard work and dedication.”