Updated Thu, Jan 5, 2012 2:17 pm
Survive and advance. That's normally the mantra for tournament play, but it could be a phrase to describe D.J. Cooper's current status.
The junior point guard made it past the first round of cuts on Wednesday for the Bob Cousy Award, an honor given to the top point guard in the nation.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its most recent list of finalists, which was trimmed from 65 to 20 players.
Cooper has been a master distributor through 14 games this season. He has 91 assists assists on the year, which is tied for 13th most in the country (6.5 per game), and has also taken care of the basketball with just 38 turnovers through 14 games. Cooper's assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4, which is one of the most important statistics for a point guard, is tied for 44th best nationally.
Offensively, Cooper's season is highlighted by his triple-double performance in Portland on December 10. He recorded 14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds against the Pilots for the first triple-double in his Ohio career. The 'Cats point guard is just one of six players to post a triple-double so far this season (all six are guards).
The 20 names will be halved to a final 10 by Feb. 1, and the final five will be selected by March 1.