ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected 15 outstanding players for its 2013-14 Oscar Robertson Trophy Preseason 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.
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 14, 2014, 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.
Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart, the 2013 Big 12 Player of the Year and Wayman Tisdale Award winner as the national freshman of the year, leads the watch list and is the USBWA's preseason selection as the Player of the Year. Creighton forward Doug McDermott, a first-team USBWA All-American a year ago, also headlines the list.
The Big Ten, led by Michigan State teammates Gary Harris and Adreian Payne, leads all conferences with four players recognized, and seven total conferences are represented. Overall, the watch list includes seven seniors, four sophomores and four freshmen. The four freshmen all appear on the Wayman Tisdale Award Preseason Watch List.
Following is the complete watch list:
While these standout players are the initial contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all NCAA Division I players are eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. For the fifth straight season, the USBWA will present an Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week each Tuesday beginning Dec. 10.
In mid-March, the USBWA will announce its 2013-14 All-America Team and, 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 14 banquet will also honor 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 player of the year 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 more than 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.