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, Dec. 9. The USBWA's weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 19 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 senior from Gurnee, Ill., averaged 24.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks in two games. Paul exploded for a season-high 35 points in an 85-74 win at No. 10 Gonzaga last Saturday, hitting 10-16 from the field, including 5-9 from three-point range, and 10-11 from the free throw line. He also added four rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks as the Illini defeated a non-conference, top-10 opponent on the road for the first time since 1986. Paul also scored 14 points in a 72-64 win over Western Carolina last Tuesday.
This is the fourth 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. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 15, 2013, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the 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 314-795-6821.
Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 32nd season, bigger and better in 2012-13. 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.
2012-13 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week of Dec. 9: Brandon Paul, Illinois (Big Ten Conference)
· Week of Dec. 16: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Missouri Valley Conference)
· Week of Dec. 23: Victor Rudd, South Florida (Big East Conference)
· Week of Dec. 30: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA (Pac-12 Conference)
· Week of Jan. 6: Trey Burke, Michigan (Big Ten Conference)
· Week of Jan. 13: Elston Turner, Texas A&M (Southeastern Conference)
· Week of Jan. 20: Roosevelt Jones, Butler (Atlantic 10 Conference)
· Week of Jan. 27: Darrun Hilliard, Villanova (Big East Conference)
· Week of Feb. 3: Shane Larkin, Miami (Atlantic Coast Conference)
· Week of Feb. 10: Mason Plumlee, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
· Week of Feb. 17: Michael Lyons, Air Force (Mountain West Conference)