ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Ohio State guard/forward Evan Turner as the winner of the 2009-10 Oscar Robertson Trophy, annually presented to the National Player of the Year.
The 6-7, 210-pound junior from Chicago, Ill., was the consensus choice by voters in all nine geographical districts of the USBWA. Turner becomes the first national player of the year from Ohio State since Jerry Lucas won his second straight USBWA Player of the Year award in 1962. Turner is also the first Big Ten player to win the honor since Purdue's Glenn Robinson in 1994.
Turner will be presented with the Oscar Robertson Trophy by its namesake Oscar Robertson at the USBWA's annual College Basketball Awards Breakfast on Friday, April 2 at 8 a.m. at The Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis in conjunction with the NCAA Men's Final Four. For tickets to the awards breakfast, visit the USBWA website, usbwa.com.
Turner, a first-team USBWA All-American and USBWA District V Player of the Year, was chosen as the national player of the year from a field of 16 finalists. The Big Ten Player of the Year has the led Buckeyes (29-7) to the Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships and into the Midwest Regional in St. Louis, where they face Tennessee on Friday.
"I think he's very deserving," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "I am very proud of what he's done, the work he's done to put himself in position to win the award is something that's truly amazing. He's one of the most multi-dimensional players in the country. He has an ability to score the basketball, drive it, get to the foul line, and shoot threes. His passing makes everyone on the floor that much better."
Despite missing six games due to injury early in the season, Turner led the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding. Including his two NCAA Tournament games, Turner is averaging 20.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. He was second in the conference in assists and steals. Turner was also third in the conference in field-goal percentage and 14th in free-throw percentage. He has recorded two triple-doubles and 16 double-doubles this season.
In addition to the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the Henry Iba Award will be presented to the association's national coach of the year and IUPUI coach Ron Hunter will receive the USBWA's Good Guy Award at the awards breakfast.
The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the association, which consists of more than 900 journalists. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its player of the year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-421-0339.