Updated Fri, Feb 1, 2013 5:36 pm
Just days after being named the top passer in college basketball by ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, Ohio point guard D.J. Cooper has been recognized as "Distributor of the Month" in ESPN's Men's College Basketball Nation Blog for the month of January.
No player in Division I basketball accounted for more assists per 40 minutes than Cooper in January. The six-foot senior averaged 11.7 assists per 40 minutes and either scored or assisted on 48 percent of Ohio's field goals. Cooper and the 'Cats went a scorching 7-0 in the first month of 2013, jumping out to a 6-0 start in conference play for the first time since 1974.
The Cousy Award finalist currently ranks first in the nation with an assist rate of 51. Assist rate is calculated by dividing a player's assists by the amount of field goals made by his team while he is on the floor.
Previous winners of "Distributor of the Month" award were Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams (November) and Michigan's Trey Burke (December). The 13-seeded 'Cats upset Burke and the 4-seeded Wolverines in the NCAA tournament last March behind Cooper's 21 points and five assists on 7-of-11 shooting.
Ohio will next take the floor tomorrow at James A. Rhodes Arena against the Akron Zips. Akron Athletics reported today that the game has officially sold out. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
Here is the ESPN link to Cooper's honor: http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/74648/numbers-to-know-january-recap