Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Duke sophomore guard Luke Kennard was named a finalist for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award on Tuesday when the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame released the 10-player final list.
Kennard played his way on the list of finalists by leading Duke in scoring with an average of 20.2 points per game and shooting .540 from the floor, .469 from outside the arc and .850 from the free throw line. He is also averaging 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest.
Kennard is one of two ACC shooting guards on the list, along with Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia. He was also recently named to the midseason watch lists for the John R. Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy.
The Franklin, Ohio, native has scored in double figures in 21 of Duke’s 22 games this season, eclipsing the 20-point mark a team-high 11 times. He ranks third in the ACC in scoring. His .540 field goal percentage ranks second overall and best among guards in the conference. He leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.469) and ranks fourth in free throw percentage (.850) while averaging the fourth-most minutes per game (34.5) in the ACC.
Kennard had perhaps the half of the year in college basketball in Duke’s 85-83 win at Wake Forest on Jan. 28, going 10-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-5 from deep to total 30 points, four assists and three rebounds in the second half. He knocked down the game-winning three-pointer with 6.6 seconds to play.
Kennard is currently one of five Division I players averaging at least 20.0 points while shooting at least 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the line. He is on pace to become the first Duke player to average at least 20.0 points while shooting at least 50 percent from the field since Christian Laettner in 1992.
For his career, Kennard owns averages of 15.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 29.6 minutes. He is a career .475 shooter from the floor, .379 from three-point range and .868 from the free throw line. After just 58 career games, he is only 130 points shy of joining Duke’s 1,000-point club.
In March, the list of finalists for the West Award will be cut to five and presented to the Hall of Fame’s selection committee, of which West is a member. The winner will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show at The Novo by Microsoft in Los Angeles on April 7.
2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Finalists
Bryce Alford, UCLA
James Blackmon, Jr., Indiana
Jacob Evans, Cincinnati
Marcus Foster, Creighton
Devonte Graham, Kansas
Peter Jok, Iowa
Luke Kennard, Duke
Jordan Mathews, Gonzaga
Malik Monk, Kentucky
Steve Vasturia, Notre Dame