INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association
has selected Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe as
its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week
for games ending the week of Sunday, Dec. 26.
As the Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Week, Tshiebwe
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. Once again, the USBWA will select a Division
I men's National Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the
season. The USBWA has named Oscar Robertson National Players of
the Week since the 2009-10 season.
Tshiebwe, a 6-9 junior forward from Lubumbashi in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, set a Rupp Arena record with 28 rebounds
last Wednesday in Kentuckys 95-60 win over Western Kentucky,
shattering the previous mark of 21 set by LSU's Shaquille O'Neal on Feb.
15, 1990. The 26 boards are the most in a Division I game since the 2015 season
and the mark ties for the sixth-best total in
program history and the most in 45 seasons since Mike Phillips had
28 in an overtime game against Tennessee on Jan. 10, 1976. The 28
boards are the most in a regulation-length UK game since 1969 when
Dan Issel grabbed 29 against LSU.
The performance marks the third
time this season for Tshiebwe to have 20 or more rebounds and he
has had stats lines with double-digit rebounds in all but one game
this season. He added 14 points against WKU for his ninth double-double
of the season, the second-most in the nation through games
of Dec. 22.
Kentucky (9-2) only played the single game last week, scheduling
WKU as a replacement since its previously-scheduled game that day
against Louisville was postponed. Tshiebwe currently leads the Wildcats
in points per game (16.1), rebounds per game (15.5), blocks per
game (1.6) and field-goal percentage (64.9). Since the 1978-79 season,
only four Wildcats have led the team in those four categories with
a minimum of 130 field-goal attempts in a single season: Kenny Walker
in 1984-85 and 1985-86, Jamaal Magloire in 1999-2000, Randolph Morris
in 2006-07, and Anthony Davis in 2011-12.
Tshiebwe is the seventh Kentucky player to earn this honor from
the USBWA and the Wildcats' first since forward Nick Richards in
this same week of the 2019-20 season. Tshiebwe is the first Oscar
Robertson Trophy weekly winner to be named Oscar.
The Wildcats open SEC play Wednesday at home against Missouri
with a 7 p.m. ET tipoff televised on the SEC Network.
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.
At 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 Malcolm
Moran at 814-574-1485.
2021-22 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 12: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona (Pac-12
Week ending Dec. 19: Alondes
Williams, Wake Forest (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Week ending Dec. 26: Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky (Southeastern
Week ending Jan. 2: Walker Kessler,
Auburn (Southeastern Conference)
Jan. 9: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin (Big Ten Conference)
Week ending Jan. 16: Armando Bacot, North Carolina
(Atlantic Coast Conference)
Week ending Jan.
23: Isiaih Mosley, Missouri State (Missouri Valley Conference)
Week ending Jan. 30: Bryce Hamilton, UNLV (Mountain
Week ending Feb. 6: Hunter
Maldonado, Wyoming (Mountain West Conference)
Week ending Feb. 13: KJ Williams, Murray State (Ohio
Week ending Feb. 20: Julian
Champagnie, St. John's (Big East Conference)
Week ending Feb. 27: KJ Williams, Murray State (Ohio
All-time USBWA National
Players of the Week (Since 2009-10)