Texas Tech sophomore Jarrett Culver has been named to the 2019 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Watch List as part of “The Naismith Starting 5”.
Culver is coming off an impressive freshman season where he averaged 11.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game for the Red Raiders. A Lubbock Coronado graduate, he recorded career-highs with 26 points and 12 rebounds at West Virginia and finished his first season with four games scoring 20 or more points. He led Texas Tech with 55 3-pointers and was second on the team with 177 rebounds, 41 steals and 27 blocks.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the 20-member watch list on Tuesday for the 2019 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award that is named after Class of 1980 Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West. The annual honor is in its fifth year and recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprising top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
“The Naismith Starting 5 represents our five positional awards and serves as a tie between the best in college game today and the Hall of Famers who have paved the way,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Each year, Jerry West has been immensely involved in the process of selecting the student-athlete who wins the award bearing his name and those on this list should be very proud to be in consideration.”
Culver helped the Red Raiders to their first-ever trip to the NCAA Elite Eight where he averaged 7.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game during the NCAA tournament run. He had nine rebounds, four assists and 11 points in the win over No. 23 Florida and would finish his freshman season with 11 points against No. 2 Villanova. He was named to the 2018 All-Big 12 Academic Rookie Team after the season. Culver proved to be explosive getting to the basket and was dangerous from beyond the arc where he hit 38.2 percent of his shots, including going 5-for-7 against Seton Hall and knocking down four 3-pointers in games against Oklahoma State, TCU and Kansas in Big 12 play.
Jerry West attended West Virginia University and averaged 24.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in his three varsity seasons. He led his team to the NCAA Championship game in 1959 and was named a consensus All-American in 1959 and 1960. In the summer of 1960, he was co-captain of the U.S. men’s basketball team and won an Olympic gold medal. As a professional player, West played 14 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers making the All-NBA First Team 10 times. West won an NBA championship in 1972 and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1969 despite his team not winning the championship. In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2019 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 2019 Jerry West Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 12, 2019, along with the other four members of the Naismith Starting 5. Additional awards being presented and sponsored by Eaton Ephesus Lighting include the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward Award, the Karl Malone Power Forward Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Previous winners of the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award include Carsen Edwards, Purdue (2018), Malik Monk, Kentucky (2017), Buddy Hield, Oklahoma (2016) and D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (2015).
2019 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Candidates
James Palmer Jr.
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2018-19 season*
COURTESY OF TEXAS TECH ATHLETICS