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Ryan Arcidiacono and Jalen Brunson open the season on the Bob Cousy Watch List

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova Wildcats senior Ryan Arcidiacono and freshman Jalen Brunson enter the season with heaps of promise and hype. Arcidiacono is a returning  BIG EAST co-Player of the Year and Brunson, a McDonald's All-American, looks to make a huge impact in his freshman year.

The Wildcats' backcourt will be a strength for the upcoming season and folks are beginning to take notice. Among them was the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which awards the Bob Cousy Award annually to the best Collegiate Point Guard -- and both are on the preseason Watch List for 2016. The Watch List itself is compiled by a committee of media members and influencers within the college basketball community.

"This list represents some of the top student athletes from across the country. We are truly honored to be a part of this award," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He added, "This year’s list showcases student athletes that have all of the intangibles that would make them great candidates for this prestigious award."

The list of 36 names will be cut down to 20 candidates in early February and down to a final five by early March. Players can be both added or removed from the Watch List in the interim.

A selection committee appointed by the Hall of Fame, reviews each candidate in contention. That committee is made up of college basketball professionals, including media, head coaches, media relations contacts and Hall of Famers.

"The Bob Cousy Award promotes the values of leadership, determination, and teamwork, all skills needed not only on the hardwood but also in life," said Ken Kaufman, Chair of the Bob Cousy Award and former president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). "Mr. Cousy exemplified all of these traits, and continues to be an inspiration to basketball players on and off the court."

The Big East is also represented by Providence's Kris Dunn and Georgetown's D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Delon Wright from Utah was the 2015 winner of the award.

2016 Bob Cousy Award Preseason Watch List

Kyle Collinsworth Brigham Young University
Tyrone Wallace California
Maodo Lo Columbia
Xavier Rathan-Mayes Florida State
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera Georgetown
Juan’ya Green Hofstra
Yogi Ferrell Indiana
Monte Morris Iowa State
Frank Mason Kansas
Tyler Ulis Kentucky
Melo Trimble Maryland
Marcus Paige North Carolina
Demetrius Jackson Notre Dame
Gary Payton, Jr. Oregon State
Kris Dunn Providence
Carson Puriefoy Stony Brook
Jalen Brunson Villanova
Ryan Arcidiacono Villanova
Fred VanVleet Wichita State
Bronson Koenig Wisconsin