Felton's point guard play has led North Carolina to the 2005 NCAA Championship game against Illinois. During the regular season, Felton averaged 12.7 points per game, 6.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game for the Tar Heels. Felton finished with 11 of 23 first place votes and 74 points, followed by Chris Paul of Wake Forest (69 points) and Marquette's Travis Diener (47 points).
Hall of Famer Bob Cousy inspired the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to establish a national, men's collegiate award that recognizes the talents that made Cousy one of best guards to ever play the game. The Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard Award debuted during the 2003-2004 college basketball season, with Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph's named its inaugural winner.
"Mr. Cousy has a vision for this award," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Hall of Fame. "He wants to recognize the vital importance of the point guard position and highlight its crucial role in achieving team success. This award recognizes core basketball skills such as passing, dribbling and creating team offense in addition to intangibles such as leadership, vision, selflessness and focus."
Considered the prototype of point guards, "Mr. Basketball" was a freshman on the Holy Cross team that won the NCAA Championship in 1947. He was a pioneer in the NBA, famous for bringing a "flashy" style of passing and showmanship to the game. Named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players, Cousy led the Boston Celtics to championships in 1957 and 1959 through 1963. Bob led the NBA in assists for eight consecutive years (1953-1960) and played in 13 straight All-Star games. After his retirement from professional basketball he was a successful (117-38) coach at Boston College from 1963 to 1969.
"If basketball is an art form," noted Cousy, "it primarily resides in the artistry, creativity, imagination and development of the nuances of the position by a genuine point guard such as John Stockton or Jason Kidd." Cousy was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971.
Nominees for the Cousy Award are solicited through the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the College Sports Information Directors of America (COSIDA). A committee of sports information directors narrowed the field to student athletes from all divisions of men's college basketball. That group is then reviewed and a winner is chosen by a select committee of Hall of Famers, Mr. Cousy, college coaches and sports information directors.