Gamecock senior point guard Devan Downey has been named to the final list of eleven candidates for the Bob Cousy Award. Fans can play a part in the selection by visiting www.cousyaward.com and voting for Downey. Fan voting last from Feb. 5 to March 5.
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Devan Downey has racked up the national accolades this week after his impressive start to the SEC campaign. Spurs Up put together a brief highlight of some of our favorite plays by No. 2 last week. Watch the video and then vote for your favorite. I don’t want to influence the voting, but my favorite was the fall-away shot with 2 seconds on the shot clock. Simply amazing stuff.
What Horn likes is that Downey, even at his size, can be self-sufficient when he needs to be in those crucial possessions.
Meaning, many other players — high-scoring players — lean heavily on others around them to sustain their level of play. They need someone to pass it to them. They need someone to draw the defense. They need someone to be a second scorer.
To use a baseball analogy, it’s like a power hitter needing protection in the lineup to see better pitches. Downey’s currently playing without a safety net, making it all the more impressive.
Kentucky’s official blog, Cat Scratches, has a good post comparing two of the country’s best guards – South Carolina’s Devan Downey and Kentucky’s John Wall. Click here to read the article.
John Wall is supposed to be the best point guard in the nation, but he might not even be the best scoring guard in his own conference.
For all the buildup the 6-foot-4 guard from Kentucky gets, one need look no further than mini 5-foot-9 guard from South Carolina to find a better pure scorer than senior guard Devan Downey.
Who is the better overall player? That might be the determining factor in Tuesday’s matchup in Columbia, S.C. when Kentucky, now the nation’s top-ranked team and only undefeated squad in the nation, takes on South Carolina at 9 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena, where the Cats were blitzed 77-59 last year.
Let’s look back at Devan Downey’s exciting game-winner last season in Lexington:
Hopefully the sting of last night’s loss has worn off for you Gamecock fans. I stayed away from SportsCenter last night so I wouldn’t have to relive those highlights. For something positive to think about on Sunday afternoon, let’s look at senior guard Devan Downey. (Get to know Devan a little more with this Q&A Spurs Up did a few weeks ago). I think many of us realize we’re witnessing one of the special players in South Carolina basketball history.
SEC Action (Five Games)
- 158 total points
- 31.6 points per game
- 43% shooting from the field
- Has scored over 30 points in three of South Carolina’s first five SEC games
Total season stats:
- 21.2 points per game
- 3.1 steals per game
- Has made 144 field goals (2nd highest on team is Sam Muldrow with 70)
- Has over 1,500 points in his career as a Gamecock (3 seasons) and just hit the 2,000 point mark for his four years (includes one year at Cincinnati)
Quotes about Downey:
- “We had two guys on him the whole time, so basically his 36 were on two guys. I’ve been in the league 19 years, and the closest I’ve seen to that was when Chris Jackson scored 44 against us when I was an assistant at Kentucky, at Rupp Arena.” – Florida Coach Billy Donovan
- “The last 10 minutes the little guy did what he does best. He made some things happen defensively. He made tough shots. Little guy plays a big game. We’re talking about Downey, of course,” said LSU Coach Trent Johnson
- “We tried everything against him. He beat it every way he could beat it. He single-handedly whipped us. I can’t wait to see him leave. He’s one of my favorite players in the country. The more you watch him, the more you love him.” – Auburn Coach Jeff Lebo
Before we look ahead to Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt, let’s take a look back at Devan Downey taking over the game against LSU on Wednesday night:
The senior guard is second in the nation right now in steals per game and leads the league in scoring. My favorite segment? The stretch from the 4:17 mark of the second half to the 3:29 mark which included the following sequence:
-Rebound by Downey (4:17)
-Floater in the lane by Downey (3:58)
-Steal by Downey (3:46)
-Three-pointer by Downey (3:45)
-Steal by Downey (3:34)
-Layup attempt missed, but followed by Lakeem Jackson layup. (3:29)
That segment sent the roof off of the Colonial Life Arena as it completely shifted the game in South Carolina’s favor and put the Gamecocks in control. What do you think is the best part of Downey’s game? Answer the poll below: