Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s preseason watch list for the 2023 Bob Cousy Award on Monday.
Wheeler, who was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award for the nation’s best point guard a year ago, led the Southeastern Conference and ranked third nationally with an average of 6.9 assists per game. Picked to the All-SEC Second Team by both the league’s coaches and media, Wheeler’s 207 assists were the fourth-most in a single season in UK history while the Houston native ranked second in the conference with a 2.27 assist-to-turnover ratio. In 30 games played in 2021-22, Wheeler averaged 10.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals to go along with his 6.9 assists per contest.
Named after All-American and NCAA Champion guard Bob Cousy from Holy Cross, the award is in its 20th year.
Wheeler was selected as one of 20 candidates as the best point guard in college basketball. Kentucky has had one player in program history earn the distinguished honor when Tyler Ulis won the award in 2016. Other SEC candidates on the 2022-23 preseason list include Alabama’s Jahvon Quinerly and Auburn’s Wendell Green Jr.
Fans are encouraged to participate in voting in each of the three rounds for the Naismith awards. In late January, all of the lists will be narrowed down to 10 players and five in February. Winners will be announced at a to be determined date.
The Cats will play exhibition contests against Missouri Western State on Oct. 30 and Kentucky State on Nov. 3 at Rupp Arena. Kentucky’s home-opener against Howard is set for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 7.