ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Duke's Jahlil Okafor
is the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week
for games ending the week of Jan. 4. Okafor was selected by CBSSports.com's
Matt Norlander, in partnership with the U.S. Basketball Writers
Norlander's popular weekly freshman watch column will continue
to feature nation's the top freshmen each week in addition to the
national player of the week. Later in the season, the USBWA will
release a midseason watch list before naming finalists for the award.
This season marks the first time a weekly national freshman of the
week will be selected and, each Tuesday through Feb. 24, a standout
first-year player will be chosen for the honor.
Okafor, a 6-11 center from Chicago, earned the honor for the
second time this season. Norlander wrote, "Okafor helped Duke
move to 13-0 by averaging 26 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and
accruing four total fouls in two wins this week. Duke stomped
Wofford 84-55 on Dec. 31, then won its ACC opener at home over
Boston College, 85-62. The performances came with an average
time of 31 minutes in each game for Okafor. Outrageous numbers.
He keeps getting better."
The Integris Wayman Tisdale Award is to be presented to the national
freshman of the year at the Devon Energy College Basketball
Awards on April 14, 2015, at the National Cowboy and Western
Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Oscar Robertson Trophy
and the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award
will also be presented at the gala to be held annually following the NCAA Men's Final Four.
USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89
season when LSU's Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season,
Duke's Jabari Parker became the fourth winner of the Wayman
Tisdale Award. Other notable previous winners of the national freshman
of the year award include Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony,
Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.
The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by
nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. The April 15 banquet will
also honor Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.
The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American
at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S.
Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before
retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In
March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous
and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg
in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.
The Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award
is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit
foundation responsible for creating the Wayman Tisdale Freshman
of the Year Award. Access Sports produces all events associated
with the award, including the annual awards dinner. Proceeds from
the activities affiliated with the award are used to support various
worthy charitable causes, including providing opportunities for
disadvantaged youth to participate in basketball leagues, clinics,
and training throughout the state. In addition, Access Sports supports
the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation which helps fund prosthetics for
those who cannot afford the cost on their own and may not be covered
Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy
College Basketball Awards are available at
collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-640-0406,
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
With more than 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. For more information on the USBWA
and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at
Matt Norlander's Wayman Tisdale Award Watch (Jan. 6)
Integris Wayman Tisdale
2014-15 Wayman Tisdale National Freshmen of the Week
• Week ending Dec. 7: Tyus Jones, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 14: Jahlil Okafor, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 21: Elijah Stewart, USC (Pac-12 Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 28: Tyler Ulis, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 4: Jahlil Okafor, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 11: Kevon Looney, UCLA (Pac-12 Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 18: Stanley Johnson, Arizona (Pac-12 Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 25: D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State (Big Ten Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 1: Jared Terrell, Rhode Island (Atlantic 10 Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 8: D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State (Big Ten Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 15: Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 22: Tyus Jones, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Integris Wayman Tisdale Award (from integrisok.com)