NCAA'S STEALS LEADER - South Carolina's Downey a Finalist for Cousy Award
Feb. 1, 2008
South Carolina sophomore point guard Devan Downey has been named a finalist for the Cousy Award. He is one of 12 Division I players on the list and one of only two from the SEC.
Beginning today, college basketball fans nationwide will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite candidate online at www.cousyaward.com. The top vote-getter from the on-line poll will receive the "Fan Vote", representing one vote to be cast by the Blue Ribbon committee selecting the Award winner. The award will be announced at the Final Four this year in San Antonio. Previous winners of the award include Acie Law IV (2007) of Texas A&M, Dee Brown of Illinois (2006), Raymond Felton of UNC (2005) and Jameer Nelson from St. Joseph's University (2004).
Downey leads the country with 3.4 spg. He leads the team with 19.6 ppg overall and 21.8 ppg in SEC games. He is second in both categories in the SEC. He is second in minutes played in the SEC and third in assists.
Downey was the first Gamecock player to score 20+ in five straight games since USC joined the SEC (1991) and even more impressive - he did it in his five first-ever SEC games. He scored 22 at No. 12 Vandy, 24 vs. No. 8 UT, 28 at Arkansas, 24 vs. Florida and 24 at UK. His streak was stopped when he scored just 9 in the Gamecocks' 62-56 win over Georgia where he scored 9 points - his first game in the garnet and black not scoring 10+. He has also started every game since sitting last season out after transferring from Cincinnati where he was named to the All-Big East Conference Freshman team.
Downey didn't know what the Cousy Award was until he was told Thursday, but he quickly talked of how prestigious the award is after looking at the other finalists. "I knew there was an award, but I didn't know what it was called. It's a real honor to be considered one of the best. There are some good players, some great players," said Downey, a Chester, S.C. native. "I've played against a lot of them when I was at Cincinnati and also in AAU. This wasn't a goal for me this season; I just go out and play."
When Downey was asked to describe his game he said: "I'm a tough player. I play with passion, play hard and I am very competitive. After playing someone, I want my opponent to say `he's way better in person than he looks on tape'."
He also talked about their up and down season and his scoring 20+ in his first five games in the SEC. "I am the team leader. When a team sees the leader panic, they'll follow. Right now for me it's all about being a leader for my team," said Downey. "On scoring more than 20 points in the SEC five times, I didn't realize it. I worked hard in the off-season so it's not surprising to me. I know what I'm capable of. But good things happen when you go out and try to win. I was just trying to win ball games. Right now we are 10-10. I'll do whatever I feel like the team needs me to do. That's what I'll do. To win more games, everyone has to give a little more than they've been giving and that includes me. I have to give a little more on defense and do more all around. I want everyone to do that."
2008 BOB COUSY AWARD PRESENTED BY THE HARTFORD FINALISTS
DJ Augustin Texas
Darren Collison UCLA
Devan Downey South Carolina
Jamont Gordon Mississippi State
Mike Green Butler
Dominic James Marquette
Ty Lawson North Carolina
Eric Maynor VCU
Tyrese Rice Boston College
Brian Roberts Dayton
Derrick Rose Memphis
Sean Singletary Virginia
Luke Cooper Alaska - Anchorage
Johnny Reibel Rollins
David Arsenault Grinnell College
Andrew Olson Amherst College