KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament — which kicks off Wednesday at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri — will showcase some of the nation’s best players based on the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Naismith Starting 5 nominations.
Kansas State senior guard Markquis Nowell is among the five finalists announced Monday for the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, which is given annually since 2004 to college basketball’s top point guard.
Nowell, who is averaging 17.0 points and a conference-best 7.7 assists in his second season with the Wildcats, is the only Big 12 player among the finalists.
Marquette’s Tyler Kolek, Northwestern’s Boo Buie, Penn State’s Jalen Pickett and Saint Louis’ Yuri Collins are the other finalists.
Fan voting for the award, which will announce a winner next month, opens on Friday.
Big 12 champion Kansas has two players among the final 10 players nominated for two other awards — freshman Gradey Dick is one of three Big 12 players nominated for the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award and junior Jalen Wilson is among three Big 12 players nominated for the Julius Erving Small Forward Award.
Dick was announced Tuesday as a finalist for the West Award.
The Erving Award list also includes K-State senior Keyontae Johnson, a transfer from Florida who was announced Sunday as the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
He averages 17.8 points and 7.0 rebounds this season after missing most of the last two seasons with the Gators after he collapsed on the court in December 2020.
Wilson was the Big 12 Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring (19.7) and rebounding (8.4), while Dick was a first-team choice after averaging 14.3 points and shooting 40.6% from three-point range.
Wilson and Johnson are both among the five finalists announced Wednesday for the Erving Award.
Baylor’s Adam Flagler and Keyonte George also are in the running for the West Award, while Texas Tech’s Kevin Obanor also is up for the Erving Award.
Two Big 12 women’s basketball players, Iowa State’s Ashley Joens and Oklahoma’s Madi Williams, are finalists for the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award along with Stanford’s Haley Jones, Tennessee Rickea Jackson and Utah’s Gianna Kneepkens.
Voting for the women’s awards already has opened online.