ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Duke forward Zion Williamson
is the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for games ending
the week of Jan. 20. Williamson was selected by CBSSports.com's
Matt Norlander, in partnership with the U.S. Basketball Writers
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. 26, a standout first-year player
will be chosen for the honor.
Williamson, a 6-7 forward from Spartanburg, S.C., averaged a
team-best 31 points over a pair of ACC games and set the Duke single-game
freshman scoring record with 35 points last Monday in a loss to
Syracuse. He scored 27 points in Saturday’s home win over No. 4
Virginia on 10-of-16 shooting to go with nine rebounds and two steals.
Against Syracuse, Williamson recorded his eighth double-double
with 10 rebounds and four blocks. For the week, Williamson was 22-for-36
(.611) from the field with 19 rebounds, five blocks and three steals.
Williamson’s two career 30-point efforts this season have each come
in ACC play.
“His impact elsewhere – blocking shots, swiping balls on defense
– coupled with his sky-high efficiency have locked him in at the
No. 1 spot all season in our Frosh Watch,” Norlander wrote in this
week’s column. “He leads the NCAA with a 41.2 Player Efficiency
Rating (PER). He's only scratching the surface of his offensive
potential, and yet he's still putting up 21.5 points per game because
of how he wields his big body to get to the rim at will.”
Williamson is second in the ACC in scoring at 21.5 points per
game and leads the league in field goal percentage (.659).
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 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
2018-19 Wayman Tisdale National Freshmen of the Week
• Week ending Dec. 2: Zion Williamson, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 9: RJ Barrett, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 16: Wynston Tabbs, Boston College (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 23: Mac McClung, Georgetown (Big East Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 30: Tyler Herro, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 6: Antoine Davis, Detroit (Horizon League)
• Week ending Jan. 13: Jaylen Gardner, East Carolina (American Athletic Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 20: Zion Williamson, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 27: Zion Williamson, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 3: Lamine Diane, Cal State Northridge (Big West Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 10: Devon Dotson, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)1
• Week ending Feb. 17: Jalen Pickett, Siena (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 24: RJ Barrett, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)