LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech sophomore Jarrett Culver has been named a finalist for the Jerry West Award as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
A Lubbock native, Culver leads the Red Raiders with 17.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists through 30 games this season. Tech (25-5, 13-4 Big 12) is on an eight-game winning streak following a 70-51 win over Texas on Monday night where Culver went for 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He's now scored 951 points in 67 career games and is a two-time Big 12 Player of the Week selection this season. Culver is also a on the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watch List and the Oscar Robertson Trophy Final Midseason Watch List. The Wooden Award will announce its 10 semifinalist on Wednesday.
Along with Culver's national recognition, senior Tariq Owens is a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist and head coach Chris Beard is a Werner Ladder Naismith College Coach of the Year Late Season candidate as previously released. The four finalist for the Naismith DPOY will be announced on March 14.
A national committee for the West Award comprising top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October and narrowed it to 10 in February before announcing the finalist on Tuesday. Named after Class of 1980 Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West, the annual honor in its fifth year recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men's college basketball.
This month, the finalists will be presented to Mr. West and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The winner of the 2019 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame's selection committee. Fans are encouraged to visit www.HoophallAwards.com to cast their votes March 8-29.
Joining Culver as finalists for the 2019 Jerry West Award are RJ Barrett (Duke), Justin Wright-Foreman (Hofstra), Carsen Edwards (Purdue) and Kyle Guy (Virginia).
Culver scored a career-high 30 points earlier this season by going 12-for-13 from the field against Abilene Christian and is currently averaging 16.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in Big 12 Conference play going into the regular-season finale at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Iowa State. He's recorded three double-doubles in conference play as a sophomore, first by going for 23 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Oklahoma, then producing a career-high 16 rebound performance to go along with 20 points in the first matchup against ISU before a 19/10 double-double against Oklahoma State. Culver matched a career-high last Saturday with seven assists in the win at TCU where he also had 15 points and six rebounds.
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 by ESPN 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).
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.
For more information and the latest updates on the 2019 Jerry West Award, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #WestAward on Twitter and Instagram