A season ago, despite being fresh off of helping lead the Kansas basketball program to a national title, KU point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. was left off of the preseason Bob Cousy Award watch list.
It was a small slight. And these awards all come with the disclaimer at the end that players can play their way on and off of the list throughout the season.
Still, there’s little doubt that Harris deserved to be on there.
No issue this season, as KU’s junior point guard did land on the 2023 version of the watch list, joining 19 other players who will vie for the title of best point guard in college basketball throughout the upcoming 2023-24 season.
“The point guards that have been named to the 2024 Bob Cousy Award Watch List truly embody the skills and characteristics that made Bob Cousy the ‘Houdini of the Hardwood,’” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in a statement announcing the honorees. “We look forward to watching their leadership and playmaking abilities take center stage and working alongside Bob Cousy and the selection committee to narrow down the watch list throughout the season.”
Dajuan Harris Jr. Career Stats: 106 games, 77 starts, 5.7 points per game, 4.3 assists per game, 1.6 steals per game. 45.6% FG | 39.3% 3PT | 67.9% FT
In all fairness, 2023 winner Markquis Nowell, of Kansas State, also was not on the preseason watch list a year ago. So it’s not as if Harris was the only player who was overlooked.
But there’s no doubt that he belonged on there in 2022, both because of his skills and play and because he was a three-year starting point guard for a blue blood program like Kansas.
By season’s end, Harris, who earned preseason all-Big 12 honors earlier this month, had ranked seventh nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.07. He also was fifth nationally in total assists (224), ninth in assists per game (6.2) and tied for ninth with 78 steals.
Those numbers, along with the way he plays the game and runs Bill Self’s offense, have long established the 6-foot-1 guard from Columbia, Missouri as one of the best lead guards in the country.
He’ll have plenty of competition for the award this season, and he also will be gunning for bigger awards, with Big 12 and national titles at the top of Harris’ wish list.
In other recent individual honors this preseason, Harris teammates Kevin McCullar Jr. and Hunter Dickinson picked up some of their own honors.
McCullar Jr., a super-senior guard in his second year at Kansas, was named to the Jerry West Shooting Guard Award watch list, and Dickinson, KU’s prized 7-foot-2 transfer from Michigan, was named a preseason AP All-American.
— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit kutickets.com