Jan. 23, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Mitch
314-795-6821
14 first-year stars in contention for award
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INTEGRIS WAYMAN TISDALE AWARD
MIDSEASON WATCH LIST ANNOUNCED

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected 14 outstanding first-year players for its 2015 Integris Wayman Tisdale Award Midseason Watch List. Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the national freshman of the year award.

The award is to be presented to the national freshman of the year at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 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 the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.

Three of the 14 players are also featured on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List as candidates for national player of the year. A trio of teammates from top-ranked Kentucky (Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyler Ulis) highlights the list. Duke and Kansas also feature teammates among the lauded players.

Three of the players on the list are also featured on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List: Stanley Johnson of Arizona, Jahlil Okafor of Duke and Melo Trimble of Maryland. The Big 12, Big Ten and SEC all boast three players on the watch list.

Following is the complete watch list:

2015 WAYMAN TISDALE AWARD MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
Pos. No. Player, School Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
F 2 Cliff Alexander, Kansas 6-8 240 Fr. Chicago, Ill.
G 1 James Blackmon Jr., Indiana 6-4 195 Fr. Marion, Ind.
G 1 Devin Booker, Kentucky 6-6 206 Fr. Grand Rapids, Mich.
F 5 Stanley Johnson, Arizona 6-7 245 Fr. Fullerton, Calif.
G 5 Tyus Jones, Duke 6-1 190 Fr. Apple Valley, Minn.
F 5 Kevon Looney, UCLA 6-9 220 Fr. Milwaukee, Wis.
C 15 Jahlil Okafor, Duke 6-11 270 Fr. Chicago, Ill.
G 12 Kelly Oubre Jr., Kansas 6-7 200 Fr. New Orleans, La.
G 0 D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State 6-5 180 Fr. Louisville, Ky.
F 12 Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky 6-11 250 Fr. Piscataway, N.J.
G 2 Melo Trimble, Maryland 6-3 190 Fr. Upper Marlboro, Md.
F 52 Myles Turner, Texas 6-11 140 Fr. Bedford, Texas
G 3 Tyler Ulis, Kentucky 5-9 155 Fr. Lima, Ohio
G 1 Rashad Vaughn, UNLV 6-6 210 Fr. Minneapolis, Minn.
By conference: Big 12 (3); Big Ten (3); SEC (3); ACC (2); Pac-12 (2), Mountain West (1).

The 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 Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.

This season, in a continued partnership with CBSSports.com and columnist Matt Norlander, the USBWA has named a weekly Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week. Five of the 14 watch list selections (Stanley Johnson, Tyus Jones, Kevon Looney, Jahlil Okafor and Tyler Ulis) have all been selected as national freshman of the week this season.

The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. The April 14 banquet will also honor Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim as 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 by insurance.

Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-640-0406, scott.hill@access-sports.net).

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. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Related link:
Integris Wayman Tisdale Award