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Rasir Bolton and Malachi Smith named preseason Jerry West Award candidates

The Zags aren’t the only team with two players on the list.

NCAA Basketball: Kraziness in the Kennel James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga Bulldog guards Rasir Bolton and Malachi Smith were both named as preseason Jerry West Award candidates. The award goes to the best shooting guard in the nation.

Bolton transferred to Gonzaga last season, providing an instant spark in the rotation, averaging 11.2 points and shooting a team best 46 percent from long range. Ultimately, Bolton flirted a bit with the NBA Draft process before returning for his final year of college basketball.

Smith transferred to Gonzaga from Chattanooga this season. The guard averaged 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists last season for the Mocs.

This is the first positional award nominations for the Zags. Nolan Hickman did not make the cut for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, although many of us in Spokane fully expect him to play his way onto that list as the season progresses.

Here is the full preseason list for the Jerry West Award candidates:

  • Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas
  • Adam Flagler, Baylor
  • Charles Pride, Bryant
  • Tyrese Proctor, Duke
  • Rasir Bolton, Gonzaga
  • Malachi Smith, Gonzaga
  • Marcus Sasser, Houston
  • Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois
  • Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas
  • Antonio Reeves, Kentucky
  • Cason Wallace, Kentucky
  • Taevion Kinsey, Marshall
  • Isaiah Wong, Miami (FL)
  • Isiaih Mosley, Missouri
  • Terquavion Smith, NC State
  • Dane Goodwin, Notre Dame
  • Matt Bradley, San Diego State
  • Joseph Girard III< Syracuse
  • Santiago Vescovi, Tennessee
  • Amari Bailey, UCLA