UCLA’s Tyger Campbell Makes Bob Cousy Award Preseason Watch List

The Bruins’ star point guard enters this college basketball season as one of the 20 best players at his position in the country.

One of the Bruins’ top seniors is once again in the running for the top honor at his position.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame revealed the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award preseason watch list Monday, and UCLA men’s basketball’s Tyger Campbell made the cut. Campbell was also on the watch list heading into 2021, and he wound up as one of the five finalists for the award by the end of the season.

Joining Campbell on the 20-man 2022 preseason watch list were Alabama’s Jahvon Quinerly, Arizona’s Kerr Kriisa, Auburn’s Wendell Green, Colorado State’s Isaiah Stevens, Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard, Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis, Duke’s Jeremy Roach, Kentucky’s Sahvir Wheeler, Liberty’s Darius McGhee, Memphis’ Kendric Davis, North Carolina’s Caleb Love, Oklahoma’s Grant Sherfield, Oral Roberts’ Max Abmas, Oregon’s Will Richardson, St. Louis’ Yuri Collins, TCU’s Mike Miles Jr., Texas’ Tyrese Hunter, UAB’s Jordan Walker and Virginia’s Kihei Clark.

Wheeler and Campbell are the two finalists from last year who appeared on the current preseason watch list.

Campbell is heading into his redshirt senior year, having missed his true freshman campaign with a torn ACL. Ever since returning from that injury, Campbell has been one of the most efficient point guards in the country, challenging for the nation’s assist-to-turnover ratio crown three years running.

Across 96 appearances and 96 starts for the Bruins, Campbell has racked up 469 assists and 159 turnovers, good for the third-highest career assist-to-turnover ratio among returning Division I point guards.

Campbell averaged 11.9 points, 4.3 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.3 turnovers per game in the 2021-2022 campaign, also setting career highs with an 18.3 player efficiency rating, 4.5 win shares and a 6.8 box plus/minus.

After shooting 25.9% from beyond the arc his first two seasons in Westwood, Campbell hit 3-pointers at a 41.0% clip as a junior. That leap, combined with a career-high 83.8% free throw percentage, helped the pure point guard notch a 56.3% true shooting percentage last year.

Campbell made the All-Pac-12 First Team in both 2020 and 2021, and he made the preseason All-Pac-12 First Team on Monday. Campbell currently ranks No. 7 on UCLA’s all-time career assists per game list and No. 10 on the school’s career total assist list. A fourth season at his current pace would move Campbell past Earl Watson and Darren Collison into No. 4, with the No. 2 spot more than within reach.

The preseason watch lists for the rest of the positional awards will be released in the coming days, with the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year list coming out Tuesday. Jaime Jaquez Jr. was a semifinalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award last year, and he is a candidate to make the preseason watch list for that honor Wednesday.

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