ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Kentucky forward Anthony Davis as the winner of the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award as the men's National Freshman of the Year. Davis will be honored at a gala banquet on Mon., April 16 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Davis will also be recognized at the USBWA College Basketball Awards Breakfast on Fri., March 30 in New Orleans in conjunction with the NCAA Men's Final Four.
Davis, a first-team USBWA All-American and the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, has led Kentucky to a 32-2 record, including a perfect 16-0 mark in the SEC. The Wildcats are the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Davis, the USBWA's District IV Player of the Year, is also a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, given to the National Player of the Year by the USBWA.
The 6-10 forward from Chicago, Ill., has started all 34 games this season and has led the team with 14.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game while shooting 64.2 percent from the field, second best in the nation. Davis also leads the nation in blocks (157). Twice this season Davis was named the SEC Player of the Week and he was the conference's Freshman of the Week four times. In 28 of the Wildcats' 34 games, he has scored in double figures while recording 17 double-doubles.
Davis is the second Kentucky player in three years to win the USBWA's National Freshman of the Year Award, joining John Wall, who won the award in 2010. The other four finalists for the award this season were Davis' Kentucky teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Duke's Austin Rivers, Washington's Tony Wroten, and Indiana's Cody Zeller.
In addition to recognizing Davis, the USBWA will also present the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Award and the Henry Iba National Coach of the Year Award at the College Basketball Awards Breakfast in New Orleans, which will also pay tribute to legendary former LSU coach Dale Brown and his 1981 and '86 Final Four teams.
The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU's Chris Jackson was the recipient. Other previous winners of the award include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Webber. This season marks the second year the award has been named in Wayman Tisdale's honor.
The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. The April 16 banquet will also honor Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.
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 Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award presented by Devon is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to supporting various charitable causes, including funding prosthetic devices for needy individuals through the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation, educational scholarships through the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and funding of youth basketball programs throughout the state of Oklahoma through Wayman's Lightning Basketball League.
Tickets and sponsorship information for the April 16 event are available at the Tisdale Award website, access-sports.net, or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information on the USBWA Awards Breakfast in New Orleans, including purchasing tickets, visit usbwa.com.
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 its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-444-4325.
Wayman Tisdale Award