Two U.S. Basketball Writers Association sponsors
– ESPN and the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Hall of Fame – partnered in April to showcase the nation's
top men's college basketball players on a nationally-televised event
originating in Los Angeles.
The one-hour TV show included the presentation of several end-of-season
awards, including five positional honors created by the Basketball
Hall of Fame: the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award to
Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, winner of the USBWA's Oscar Robertson
Trophy as the national player of the year; the Julius Erving
Small Forward of the Year Award to Michigan State's Denzel Valentine;
the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award to Iowa State's
Georges Niang; the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award
to Utah's Jakob Poeltl; and the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year
Award to Kentucky's Tyler Ulis.
The show also highlighted the 2016 John Wooden Legends of Coaching
Award to Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith. He is one of two coaches
– Lon Kruger of Oklahoma being the other – to lead five different
schools to the NCAA tournament.
OTHER USBWA SPONSORS: In addition to ESPN and
the Hall of Fame, the USBWA thanks its other sponsors for their
support during 2015-16: Connor Sports Flooring, USA Basketball,
the NABC, Access Sports, the ACC, Big East, American Athletic, Conference
USA and the Pac-12.
HALL OF FAME CLASS: The Naismith Hall of Fame
announced at the NCAA Men's Final Four in Houston the 10 members
of this year's Hall of Fame class. They will be enshrined during
ceremonies at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield,
Mass., on Sept. 9.
This year's class includes several individuals with college basketball
ties: Tom Izzo, current Michigan State coach; Allen Iverson (Georgetown);
John McClendon (Tennessee State); Shaquille O'Neal (LSU); Sheryl
Swoopes (Texas Tech); Cumberland Posey (Duquesne); and Zelmo Beaty
(Prairie View A&M).
Izzo has led MSU to seven NCAA Final Four appearances, 18 consecutive
trips to the NCAA Tournament and a national championship in 2000.
McClendon won three consecutive national championships as head
coach at Tennessee State.
O'Neal led the nation in rebounding in 1991 and blocked shots
in 1992 and earned unanimous First Team All-America honors in 1992
Swoops led Texas Tech to an NCAA women's championship in 1993
and set an NCAA championship record for most points in game with
Posey was recognized as the greatest African-American basketball
player of his time from the early 1900s to the mid-1920s. He led
Duquesne in scoring for three seasons.
Beaty led Prairie View A&M to the 1962 NAIA championship
and in four seasons averaged 25 points and 20 rebounds per game.