Since the 2003-04 season — when Jameer Nelson won the inaugural honor — the Bob Cousy Award has been handed out annually to the best point guard in college basketball. Cousy played at Holy Cross, where he had his number retired and was an All-American, before going on to win six NBA titles with the Boston Celtics.
Ja Morant of Murray State won last year's Cousy Award, making him the first ever player from the Ohio Valley Conference to take the trophy.
But Morant won't be back to defend the award, as he's headed off to the NBA Draft.
Here's a few players that could be the sport's top point guard in 2019-20.
1. Cassius Winston, Sr., Michigan State: Enters the season as the preseason favorite for Big Ten player of the year and a first-team all-American. Winston leads the likely preseason No. 1 team.
2. Markus Howard, Sr., Marquette: Howard is a prolific scorer who will have even more responsibility with the departures of Joey and Sam Hauser. He should be a preseason all-American.
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3. Tre Jones, So., Duke: Jones could have left but decided to hang back and lead another talented freshmen class. Jones is the top defensive point guard and should shine even more as an experienced sophomore.
4. Ashton Hagans, So., Kentucky: The Wildcats won’t have to worry about the point with Hagans running the show. The experience should ease any concerns as the Wildcats mount another run at an SEC title and a Final Four appearance.
5. Anthony Cowan Jr., Sr., Maryland: Cowan is a big-shot maker and will be counted on to push the Terps toward a top two finish in the Big Ten.
Unfinished Business.— Maryland Basketball 🐢 (@TerrapinHoops) May 29, 2019
Anthony Cowan Jr. is officially back for his senior season! pic.twitter.com/YIP2ZRmMIf
6. Nico Mannion, Fr., Arizona: Mannion enters college with a ton of hype and the expectation that he will lead the Wildcats back to the NCAA tournament.
7. Devon Dotson, So., Kansas: The Jayhawks have a long history of lead guards developing into Big 12 player of the year candidates. Dotson has a chance to be on that path.
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8. Zavier Simpson, Sr., Michigan: Juwan Howard has the comfort knowing he will start his head coaching career with a lead guard who can score, distribute and lock down opponents. The Big Ten is loaded at this position.
9. Ayo Dosunmu, So., Illinois: Dosunmu flirted with leaving for the draft but ultimately chose not to go through the process. That’s great news for Brad Underwood, who returns a lead guard that can do a little bit of everything for him and lead the Illini to the NCAA tournament.
10. Andrew Nembhard, So., Florida: Nembhard’s return means the Gators should challenge Kentucky for the top spot in the SEC. He doesn’t shy away from the decisive shot.
11. Payton Pritchard, Sr., Oregon: The responsibilities will be even greater for Pritchard with the departure of Louis King and Kenny Wooten. But Pritchard’s steadiness will help the Ducks stay in contention for a bid.
12. McKinley Wright IV,Jr., Colorado
13. Jordan Ford, Sr., Saint Mary’s
14. Kamar Baldwin, Sr., Butler
15. Kihei Clark, So., Virginia
16. A.J. Lawson, So., South Carolina
17. Lamonte Turner, Sr., Tennessee
18. Bryce Aiken, Sr., Harvard
19. DJ Carton, Fr, Ohio State
20. James Akinjo, So., Georgetown
21. Trent Forrest, Sr., Florida State
22. D’Mitrik Trice, Sr., Wisconsin
23. Javonte Smart, So., LSU
24. LaQuincy Rideau, Sr., South Florida
25. Jamarius Burton, So., Wichita State