Courtesy of USBWA
ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected the Kentucky forward Julius Randle as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 23. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and is announced exclusively on SiriusXM Radio’s “Inside College Basketball.”
As the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, Randle was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week. Randle was also named the USBWA’s Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week.
Randle, a 6-9 freshman from Dallas, Texas, averaged 16.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in conference wins over Ole Miss and LSU. He began the week last Tuesday by notching his 14th double-double of the season with 25 points and 13 rebounds at Ole Miss. Randle shot 13-14 from the free-throw line and scored six of UK’s final 11 points to help preserve the 84-70 victory. On Saturday, he then helped lead the Cats in dramatic fashion at home in a 77-76 overtime win against LSU. He hit the game-winning put back with 3.9 seconds remaining in overtime en route to an eight-point, 15-rebound performance.
This is the fifth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-season.
Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at theDevon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Awardwill also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season.
Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 33rd season, bigger and better in 2013-14. Blue Ribbon – long-known as “The Bible of College Basketball” – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit blueribbonyearbookonline.com.
2013-14 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
• Week of Dec. 8: Dustin Hogue, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Dec. 15: Marcus Paige, North Carolina (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week of Dec. 22: Aaric Murray, Texas Southern (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
• Week of Dec. 29: DeAndre Kane, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 5: Willis Hall, College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic Association)
• Week of Jan. 12: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Big East Conference)
• Week of Jan. 19: Naadir Tharpe, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 26: Nik Stauskas, Michigan (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Feb. 2: Drew Crawford, Northwestern (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Feb. 9: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Feb. 16: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Big East Conference)
• Week of Feb. 23: Julius Randle, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)