Badgers' Hayes, Koenig named to national awards' preseason watch lists

BY foxsports • October 13, 2015

Coming off a year when they were complementary players to the stars that led Wisconsin to the NCAA championship game, two returning Badgers have been recognized nationally as players to watch this season.

Forward Nigel Hayes and guard Bronson Koenig, both juniors, were named to preseason watch lists for the Julius Erving Award and Bob Cousy Award, respectively, as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Each watch list comprises 20 players at its position, with the Julius Erving Award going to the top small forward in the country and the Bob Cousy Award honoring the nation's best point guard.

Hayes, a Sporting News preseason All-American, started all 40 games for the Badgers last year, finishing third on the team in scoring (12.4 points per game) and second in rebounds (6.2 per game). After coming off the bench early in the season, Koenig started the final 24 games last season, averaging 11.5 points and 2.7 assists, while shooting 44.2 percent from 3-point range.

Last season, former Badger Sam Dekker was one of five finalists for the Julius Erving Award in its inaugural year. Devin Harris was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award in 2004, and Jordan Taylor was a finalist for it in 2011.

After Wisconsin's run to the Final Four last spring, Dekker and center Frank Kaminsky were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft, by the Houston Rockets and Charlotte Hornets, respectively, while forward Duje Dukan signed with the Sacramento Kings.

share story