Look out for Frank Jackson.
The Duke freshman was one 20 on the watch list for the 2017 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, three from the Triangle. Other candidates included UNC’s Joel Berry II and N.C. State’s Dennis Smith in an announcement from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Monday.
The winner of the Cousy Award, given to the top point guard in Division I men’s basketball, will be announced at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 7 after the Cousy Award committee narrows the list to 10 in mid-February and names five finalists in March.
Jackson is an important piece to Duke’s first-rate recruiting class, which features four five-star recruits. The 2016 McDonald’s All-American Game co-MVP was ranked the No. 10 overall recruit and No. 4 point guard of his class. He became the fifth Duke player to win at least a share of the high school all-star game’s MVP honors, scoring 19 points in a West team victory. Jackson also won the McDonald’s All-American Game dunk contest, the fourth Blue Devil to claim that title.
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The 6-foot-3, 205-pound freshman finished his high school career with 2,079 points in Alpine, Utah at Lone Peak High School, good for the sixth best in Utah high school history.
Smith, a 6-3, 195-pound freshman from Fayetteville, enters N.C. State as the top point guard of his class, No. 4 overall. He averaged 22.2 points as a junior at Trinity Christian School before tearing his ACL his senior season.
The North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year led his high school team to a state championship as a sophomore.
Berry was the ACC Tournament MVP of a Tar Heels team that appeared in the national championship last season. He was the first UNC point guard to win the award since Phil Ford in 1975, scoring a game-high 19 points against Virginia in the ACC championship game.
Berry, a 6-0, 195-pound junior guard from Apopka, Fla., was also an All-Final Four Team selection last season.
As a Tar Heels point guard with 39 career starts, his assist-error ratio is 2.4-1 and he shoots .838 percent from the free-throw line.
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan