ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected 12 outstanding players for its 2013 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List. Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac.
The award is to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 15 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.
Teammates from Indiana and Kansas headline the watch list that includes four Big Ten players. Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are joined by fellow Big Ten standouts Trey Burke of Michigan and Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State. The pair of Jayhawks named to the list are Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey. Big East standouts Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse and Russ Smith of Louisville join ACC star Mason Plumlee of Duke as players who were also recognized.
A pair of Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week from this season are featured as well: Doug McDermott from Creighton and Burke. Also, two natives of Canada, UNLV's Anthony Bennett and Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, were selected. Overall, the list is balanced by class with two seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen appearing.
Following is the complete watch list:
While these standout players are the leading contenders to be named to the USBWA's All-America Team and as finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all Division I players remain eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. The association will announce its 2013 All-America Team in mid-March. At that time, finalists will also be chosen for the player of the year. Once finalists are announced, the entire USBWA membership will vote for the winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy.
Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, firstname.lastname@example.org). The April 15 banquet will also honor Michigan State coach Tom Izzo as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.
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.
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.
• Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac