GU’s Bolton, Smith named to Jerry West Award Watch List

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Two Gonzaga guards received high preseason honors on Tuesday.

Rasir Bolton and Malachai Smith were named to the Jerry West Award Watch List for the 2022-23 college basketball season. The award is named after West, a Class of 1980 Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player, for the best shooting guard in Division 1 college basketball.

Bolton and Smith are two of the 20 candidates up for the award.

Bolton is entering his second year with the Zags. He started every game last year, shooting a WCC-high 46 percent from three. Bolton was on the Honorable Mention All-WCC team last season. Averaging 11.2 points per game last year, Bolton shot over 81 percent from the free throw line.

Smith enters his first year with the Zags. Transferring from Chattanooga, Smith was the Southern Conference Player of the Year and Lou Henson Player of the Year. The guard averaged 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals last year.

Voting for the Jerry West Award winner begins on October 28. In late January, the list of 20 candidates will go down to 10, then five in late February. In March, West and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee will select a winner.

Recent winners of the award include Johnny Davis, Chris Duarte, Myles Powell and RJ Barrett.

Other players on the watch list include Baylor’s Adam Flagler, Duke’s Tyrese Proctor, Kentucky’s Antonio Reeves and Carson Wallace, Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi and UCLA’s Amari Bailey.

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