Vol. 52, No. 4 May 2015 .pdf version
Pat Forde: An uncomplicated agenda
Joe Mitch: Greater diversity a goal
Hill presentation highlights Women's Final Four event
Kaminsky, Okafor, Bennett win USBWA honors

Kaminsky, Okafor, Bennett win USBWA honors

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The U.S. Basketball Writers Association named Frank Kaminsky, Tony Bennett and Jahlil Okafor the winners of its three major awards.

Kaminsky is the winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy, annually presented to the national player of the year.

Oscar Robertson Trophy winner Frank Kaminsky and his Wisconsin teammates visit with the award's namesake in Indianapolis. (Photo; Lida DeGroote)

Bennett is the recipient of the Henry Iba Award, given to the national coach of the year.

Okafor won the Wayman Tisdale Award, given to the nation's top freshman.

Head coach Bo Ryan and the entire Wisconsin team joined Kaminsky for the announcement. "To have Frank Kaminsky receive this (award) as the player of the year speaks volumes to what he has done to elevate our program and his teammates," Ryan said. He's one of a kind, I can tell you that."

Added Kaminsky: "This is obviously a great award, and I am honored to receive it. I have to thank my family, which really helped me grow as a person and grow as a player. I'm just so honored to receive this award."

Kaminsky, the consensus Big Ten player of the year, led the Badgers to the national championship game. He led the 36.4 Badgers in scoring (18.8), rebounding (8.2), assists (2.6), blocks (1.5), field-goal percentage (54.7) and 3-point percentage (41.6).

Bennett led Virginia to a 30-4 record, which tied the school record for wins in a season set last season and in 1982-83. For the second straight season, Virginia won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title. Bennett's career mark at Virginia is a stellar 136-64 (.680 winning percentage).

Okafor, the ACC player of the year, led the Blue Devils and ranked among the top five in the ACC in scoring (17.7), rebounds (9.0) and field goal percentage (.669). The 6-11 Okafor became the first freshman to lead Duke in all three categories.

The USBWA men's All-America team features a true five-man lineup of first-teamers, led by three players who led their teams to the Final Four: Kaminsky, Okafor and Kentucky junior forward Willie Cauley-Stein. The team also includes guards Jerian Grant, a senior from Notre Dame, and Ohio State freshman D'Angelo Russell.

Based on regular-season performance, the entire USBWA membership of nearly 1,000 selects the nation's top five players on each of two teams regardless of position.

Overall, the Atlantic Coast Conference leads all selections with three, including Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon, who was named to the second team. The Big Ten and SEC each boast two All-America selections. Joining Brodgon on that second team are Bobby Portis of Arkansas, Seth Tuttle of Northern Iowa, Kyle Wiltjer of Gonzaga and Delon Wright of Utah.

Cauley-Stein, a 7-0 junior, contributed to Kentucky's potent and balanced attack with 9.3 points per game to go with 6.4 rebounds. He was a first-team all-SEC selection who led the Wildcats to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

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Grant, a 6-5 senior, led the Fighting Irish with 16.8 points per game and 6.6 assists while shooting 48.8 percent from the field. Grant was a first-team all-ACC selection and led the conference in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Russell, a 6-5 freshman, was the Big Ten freshman of the year and an all-Big Ten first-team selection. He was the leading freshman scorer in the country and second-leading scorer in the Big Ten (19.3) and also led the Buckeyes with 5.6 rebounds per game and was second on the team with 5.1 assists per game.

Each of the awards were formally presented on April 14 at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards Gala in Oklahoma City.

USBWA All-America Teams

First Team
Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky, 7-0, Jr.
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, 6-5, Sr.
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin, 7-0, Sr.
Jahlil Okafor, Duke, 6-11, Fr.
D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State, 6-5, Fr.

Second Team
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia, 6-5, Jr.
Bobby Portis, Arkansas, 6-11, Soph.
Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa, 6-8, Sr.
Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga, 6-10, Jr.
Delon Wright, Utah, 6-5, Sr.

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