Calder Silcox | Zack Rosen is in good company
January 24, 2012, 12:28 am · Updated January 25, 2012, 11:29 pm·
Henry Chang | DP
Here are the names of the eight previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award for the top collegiate point guard: Jameer Nelson, Raymond Felton, Dee Brown, Acie Law IV, DJ Augustin, Ty Lawson, Greivis Vasquez, Kemba Walker.
Recognize a few of them?
Seven were first-round NBA draft picks. Between the eight, there are 21 NCAA tournament appearances and 3 championships. They come from the ACC, A-10, Big Ten, Big 12 and Big East conferences.
This year’s class of candidates has no shortage of big names either: No. 3 Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine, No. 8 Duke’s Seth Curry, Pittsburgh’s Ashton Gibbs and the top scoring player in the nation, Weber State’s Damian Lillard.
So why the heck is this Ivy Leaguer Zack Rosen a finalist? National writers can barely spell his name right, and you’d better believe they don’t botch Jardine.
Ask anyone who knows Rosen’s game and they’ll say the floor general has earned his spot as a finalist.
“I think he’s about as good as they come in terms of the position that he plays,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said. “Obviously he does everything for us. Even in his flaws, I still see the beauty in his game because he’s so determined to get better.”
Rosen has never been one to count his accolades — he won’t read a word written about him. But even he found himself looking over the list of fellow Cousy Award finalists with teammate Rob Belcore.
“It’s a really big honor,” Rosen said. “It’s a pretty good group to be a part of.”
There’s no doubt the senior is out of this league talent-wise, but his spot among the Cousy finalists was predicated on a smoking-hot start to the season.
The truth is, Rosen’s chances of making the next cut from 20 to the top 10 are slim. His shooting has regressed slightly in recent weeks, and as the selection committee will likely make conclusions on Penn’s All-Ivy based solely on box scores and statistics, his days on the list may be numbered.
Rosen recognizes his basketball resume doesn’t yet stack up with the rest of the class. He’s 39-64 thus far in his career, without a title or an NCAA tournament victory — let alone an appearance.
So he knows there’s only one way to remain in the running: win.
“To me, that whole thing — obviously they come from the best schools — but they win,” Rosen said. “What they’re saying is the best point guard in the country is a winner. I respect that. Whoever the committee is, whatever they’re saying — the best point guard in the country is one part of one of the best teams in the country.”
And Rosen easily puts his nomination in perspective.
“It’s good to know that stuff can happen, but to be honest with you, right now we’re involved in this 14-game tournament we call the Ivy League. We’re trying to win that.”
Allen believes Rosen is still writing his own story.
“He’s not finished yet.”
CALDER SILCOX is a senior science, technology and society major from Washington, D.C., and is a former Senior Sports Editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian. He can be reached at dpsports@theDP.com.