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Arizona’s Kerr Kriisa makes Bob Cousy Award watch list

arizona-wildcats-kerr-kriisa-bob-cousy-award-watch-list-estonia-pac12-basketball-2023-ayton-stanley Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Is Kerr Kriisa one of the best point guards in college basketball? The people behind an award honoring that position think so.

The UA junior is one of 25 players named to the preseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Award, given annually to Division I’s best point guard. He’s one of three Pac-12 players on the list along with Oregon’s Will Richardson and UCLA’s Tyger Campbell.

The 6-foot-3 Kriisa is coming off a 2021-22 season in which he averaged 9.7 points and 4.7 assists, ranking second in the Pac-12 in assists per game. He drained 80 3-pointers, ninth-most in a season in school history, and last February at Utah he had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the UA’s 10th all-time triple-double and first since 2004.

Kriisa played for his home country of Estonia in international competition over the summer, averaging 10.1 points and 5.0 assists while shooting 40.6 percent from 3.

Arizona has never had a Bob Cousy winner since the award was created in 2004, but it has had players win other positional awards sponsored by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Deandre Ayton won the Karl Malone Award (best power forward) in 2018 and Stanley Johnson won the Julius Erving Award (best small forward) in 2015.

Kriisa will be representing the UA along with junior forward Azuolas Tubelis and coach Tommy Lloyd at Wednesday’s Pac-12 Media Day in San Francisco.