ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers
Association has selected Murray State guard Ja Morant as its
Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week
of Sunday, Jan. 20. The USBWA's weekly honor is presented by
Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
As the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week, Morant 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. The USBWA has named Oscar Robertson National
Players of the Week since the 2009-10 season.
The 6-3 sophomore from Dalzell, S.C., became the first NCAA Division
I player in the past 20 years to have 40 points, 11 assists and
five steals in a game when he led the Racers to an 82-72 win over
Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. Morant hit 21-of-21 free throws
in the game, establishing a new OVC record for most made free throws
in a game without a miss (breaking the old mark of 17-of-17 set
in 1966-67). The 21 makes without a miss was the most by a Division
I player in the past 20 years and just three off the NCAA all-time
record. The 21 made free throws are the most in a game by a Division
I player this season.
The nation's assist leader at 10.7 per game, Morant has had seven
straight games with double-digit assists and has at least 20 points
and 10 assists in four of his last five games. He is second in double-doubles
nationally with 13 and seventh in scoring at 24.3 points per game.
In the week's two wins, Morant averaged 33.5 points, 10.5 assists,
3.0 steals and 3.0 rebounds per game while hitting 57.6 percent
(19-of-33) from the field, 50 percent (7-of-14) from 3-point range
and 95.7 percent (22-of-23) from the free throw line.
Morant's 40 points were a career high and the mark only the 19th
time an MSU player has scored 40 or more points. He opened the week
with another banner game in a win over Eastern Illinois, scoring
27 points off 11-of-16 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 on three-pointers,
to go with 10 assists, three rebounds, a block and a steal.
Morant, a first-team All-OVC selection last year, has been named
the OVC's Player of the Week six times this 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.
the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists
for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership.
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 the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch
Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive
college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 38th
season. 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
2018-19 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 2: Markus Howard, Marquette (Big
• Week ending Dec. 9: Admiral
Schofield, Tennessee (Southeastern Conference)
Week ending Dec. 16: Juwan Morgan, Indiana (Big Ten
• Week ending Dec. 23: Markus Howard,
Marquette (Big East Conference)
• Week ending
Dec. 30: Justin Wright-Foreman, Hofstra (Colonial Athletic Association)
Week ending Jan. 6: Shamorie Ponds, St. John's (Big
• Week ending Jan. 13: Bruno
Fernando, Maryland (Big Ten Conference)
ending Jan. 20: Ja Morant, Murray State (Ohio Valley Conference)
Week ending Jan. 27: Grant Williams, Tennessee (Southeastern
• Week ending Feb. 3: Chris Clemons,
Campbell (Big South Conference)
• Week ending
Feb. 10: Robert Franks, Washington State (Pac-12 Conference)
Week ending Feb. 17: PJ Washington, Kentucky (Southeastern
Week ending Feb. 24: Mike Daum, South Dakota State (Summit League)
Week ending March 3: Fletcher Magee, Wofford (Southern Conference)