Junior shooting guard Julian Jacobs was named to the top ten finalists list for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. The watch list, selected by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, narrows down the competition for the final award, which will be announced on April 8.Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player Jerry West, the award recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men’s college basketball. This is only the second year that the award has been given out by the Naismith Hall of Fame. Last year, it was given to former Ohio State University guard D’Angelo Russell.Averaging 12.1 points, 5.9 assists and 5.2 rebounds, Jacobs has played an integral part in leading the Trojans to a 17-5 record. This season has been the best start since 1991. Jacobs isn’t just a scoring leader for the USC offense — he’s also an offensive leader throughout the entirety of the Pac-12. He leads the division in assists per game and ranks sixth in steals per game, with an average of 1.5.His dynamic energy on the offense has garnered 22 dunks this season, providing an explosiveness that the Trojans need in order to stay competitive throughout the rest of their season. Jacobs will be key in solidifying an already strong season for the Trojans.This honor ranks Jacobs right alongside national superstars from powerhouse programs, such as Buddy Hield from the University of Oklahoma and Grayson Allen from Duke University. The pair will provide stiff competition. Hield has averaged 26.2 points per game while leading his Oklahoma squad to take the number one spot and put up a staggering 46 points and seven assists in the team’s triple-overtime loss to the University of Kansas. Allen, meanwhile, averages 20.3 points and 3.7 assists despite a disappointing season for the recently unranked Blue Devils.The competition will be narrowed down to five finalists in March before the final announcement at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in April. The show is also in its second year and will take place at the Nokia Theater, where the Hall of Fame will also present the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award and the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award.
Educators from across the nation are currently meeting in Boston for the annual meeting of the National Education Association, the largest teacher’s union in the country.Listen nowAlaska NEA president Tim Parker is attending along with 64 other state members to learn about education initiatives around the country and to discuss how to improve education in Alaska.Parker said that his biggest concern is the uncertain future of the state’s education budget.“We’re going to be in exactly the same spot next year,” Parker said. “Teacher lay-offs and program cuts continue.”Among the topics discussed at the meeting was this year’s roll out of the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA. ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act and gives states more power over setting standards for their schools and for evaluating teachers.Parker said he has been speaking with educators from other states about how to improve methods for evaluating student progress.“Some of them are super creative,” Parker said. “They actually have to investigate an oil spill.”The NEA annual meeting ends on July 5.