ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Illinois guard Brandon Paul as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Jan. 15. The USBWA's weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 21 this season.
As the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week, Paul 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.
Paul, a 6-4 junior from Gurnee, Ill., had a career night in a 79-74 win vs. No. 5 Ohio State last Tuesday, scoring 43 points to go with eight rebounds and four blocks. The 43-point outburst was a career best, and marked the most points scored in a game by a Big Ten player since Purdue's Glenn Robinson in 1994. It's the second-highest individual scoring output of the season behind the 44 points scored by Creighton's Greg McDermott vs. Bradley.
In his only game of the week, Paul scored 28 points in the second half, including the Illini's final 15 points of the evening over the last 2:40. Paul shot connected on 11-15 from the field, including 8-10 from three-point range. The eight three-pointers matched a school single-game record.
This is the third season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-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.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2012 Oscar Robertson Trophy will be announced and presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at the USBWA's annual awards breakfast on Fri., March 30 in New Orleans, site of the 2012 NCAA Men's Final Four.
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 at 314-444-4300.
Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 31st season, bigger and better in 2010-11. 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 blueribbonyearbookonline.com.
2011-12 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week of Dec. 11: Thomas Robinson, Kansas (Big 12
· Week of Dec. 18: Mike Glover, Iona (Metro Atlantic
· Week of Dec. 25: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Missouri
· Week of Jan. 1: Kyle Weems, Missouri State (Missouri
· Week of Jan. 8: Damian Lillard, Weber State (Big
· Week of Jan. 15: Brandon Paul, Illinois (Big Ten
· Week of Jan. 22: Faisal Aden, Washington State (Pac-12
· Week of Jan. 29: Mason Plumlee, Duke (Atlantic Coast
· Week of Feb. 5: Tray Woodall, Pittsburgh (Big East
· Week of Feb. 12: Jeff Withey, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
· Week of Feb. 19: Draymond Green, Michigan State
(Big Ten Conference)