Norris Cole being a Bob Cousy Award Finalist is pretty awesome actually

Go back 5, 10, or 15 years and tell me if you ever thought that there would be a Cleveland State Vikings basketball player who would be regarded as the best in the country at his position?

Specifically, one who was considered a top-10 point guard in all of College Basketball, projected as an NBA Draft Pick, and somehow be able post a stat-line like the one Norris Cole did yesterday (41 points, 20 rebounds, and 9 assists).

I don’t know if you’re really going to go back in your mind and tell me whether you did or not but I can say for myself  with the utmost certainty, umm…no. 

I never in my wildest Cleveland sports fan dreams ever thought anything like that would be even remotely possible.

Until Gary Waters got here I guess. 

But even then, while I thought they’d be as good as Cleveland State could possibly be under Waters, I never thought that success would actually include sending alumni into the NBA.

Because that’s where Cedric Jackson’s gone, and that’s where Norris Cole is going.  For sure.  He will play in the NBA.

In fact, NBA Draft.Net as of Friday morning has Norris Cole projected as the 43rd overall pick, going to the Phoenix Suns in the 2nd Round.  Then he had a monster game on Saturday.

Then highlights of he and his squad’s game were played on ESPN along with his profile pic being plastered right next to Blake Griffin’s all night last night.  On Sportscenter. 

What’s also specifically cool, besides Cole’s flat-top, is the fact that he’s a finalist for the Bob Cousy award.  A finalist. 

Now to be clear, there are initially 70 players nominated.  That list is then widdled down to 20, and then most recently 10. 

Here’s what the award people had to say about the award on February 8th:

“This final list of ten players represents the best of the best in college basketball at the point guard position,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We look forward to recognizing the nation’s top college basketball point guard and wish all the candidates best of luck.

We have many excellent candidates for the 2011 award that share Mr. Cousy’s vision of a point guard. We look forward to following each of these players as the season heads to the final weeks and recognize the top player in college basketball at the point guard position at the Final Four,” said Ken Kaufman, Chair of the 2011 Bob Cousy Award.”

Here is the list of the 10 finalists:

Norris Cole – Cleveland State
Corey Fisher – Villanova
Jimmer Fredette – BYU
DJ Gay – San Diego State
Brandon – Knight Kentucky
Demetri McCamey – Illinois
Mickey McConnell – St. Mary’s
Nolan Smith – Duke
Isaiah Thomas – Washington
Kemba Walker – Connecticut

Duke, Connecticut, Villanova, Illinois, Cleveland State, Kentucky…yeah that sounds about right. 

Also, from the Cousy Award Group:

Beginning February 8, via the Bob Cousy Award’s website – – fans will be able to vote for the top point guard. The player that receives the most fan votes will receive one vote toward the final committee vote. 

Go vote for Norris Cole, Cleveland.  Help the kid out.  He’s doing his best to help out Cleveland sports…it’s the least you can do.

  • Mark

    That stat line from yesterdays game is astounding.

  • forrealmccoy

    Cole’s flat top is pure awesomeness!

  • UncleC

    Funniest/Most Ironic thing about Cole: Not the best player on his HS team. Was second fiddle to Daequan Cook at Dayton Dunbar. Cook was a One and Done, and now averages 3 points a game for OKC. Cole has evolved and could end up being as effective as George Hill. Ask me 5 years ago what would happen to those two, and I would have said Cook is a starter in the NBA, and Cole is lucky to play in Europe.

    It’s funny how things play out.

  • Thunder Dan

    What Cole is doing is amazing; good on you for writing about it. He deserves all the pub and awards he gets.

    I hate to be that guy but I winced when I read “widdled.” It’s whittled. Doesn’t anybody grow up with a pocketknife anymore?