ST. LOUIS (USBWA) Oklahoma's Buddy Hield and Michigan State's Denzel Valentine, who have emerged as the two leading candidates to win the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Oscar Robertson Trophy for national player of the year, headline the 2015-16 USBWA Men's All-America Team.

Hield and Valentine earlier were named District Players of the Year by the USBWA, Valentine in District V and Hield in District VI.

The USBWA will announce its Oscar Robertson Trophy winner as the national player of the year at the NCAA Men's Final Four in Houston at a press conference on Fri., April 1.

Hield and Valentine are joined on the USBWA's All-America first team by Malcolm Brogdon of Virginia, Brice Johnson of North Carolina and Ben Simmons of LSU. Brogdon edged out Johnson as the District III Player of the Year, while Simmons earned the Player of the Year honor in District VII.

The first team boasts four seniors, in addition to Simmons, a freshman. The last time as many as four seniors appeared on a USBWA All-America First Team was the 2005-06 season.

Named to the USBWA's second team are Kris Dunn of Providence; Georges Niang of Iowa State; Jakob Poeltl of Utah; Tyler Ulis of Kentucky; and Jarrod Uthoff of Iowa.

Hield, a 6-4 guard from Freeport, Bahamas, has been among the nation's scoring leaders all season, finishing the regular season second in the country with a 25.1 average. He was a major threat for Oklahoma from 3-point range, connecting on 47.3 percent of his shots. His 124 3-point baskets were the most in the nation.

Valentine is on pace to become the first player to average 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists since assists were recognized as an official statistic by the NCAA in 1983-84. The 6-5 guard from Lansing, Mich., led the Big Ten in overall scoring with a 19.6 average and assists with a 7.5 mark for the Spartans.

Brogdon, a 6-5 guard from Atlanta and a second-team USBWA All-American a season ago, was named player of the year and defensive player of the year by the Atlantic Coast Conference. He led Virginia in scoring with a career-high 18.4 points per game and headlined the Cavaliers' third-ranked defense nationally, which yielded 59.6 points per game.

North Carolina's Johnson was a unanimous selection to the ACC's first team and runner-up to Brogdon for conference player of the year. Johnson, a 6-10 forward from Orangeburg, S.C., led the ACC in rebounding (10.8), field goal percentage (.606) and double-doubles (19).

Simmons, a 6-10 forward from Melbourne, Australia, leads all Division I freshmen with 11.9 rebounds per game and was third among all freshmen in scoring with a 19.6 average. He is trying to become the first player in the last 20 years to average at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game.

The USBWA All-America teams are voted on by members of the USBWA, which is comprised of over 900 sportswriters and sports journalists who cover college basketball for newspapers, magazines and websites.

The Oscar Robertson Trophy will officially be presented to the player of the year at the College Basketball Awards gala and dinner in Oklahoma City on Monday, April 11. The trophy is named after the legendary "Big O," a three-time national player of the year and All-American at the University of Cincinnati.

Other USBWA awards to be presented at the gala are the Henry Iba Award for coach of the year to Xavier's Chris Mack; the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award to the freshman of the year; and the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award presented by Love's Truck Stops to former Missouri coach Norm Stewart.

Serving as the host for the gala is Access Sports, a non-profit, Oklahoma City-based organization involved in various charitable activities to help disadvantaged children in Oklahoma participate in sports.

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 314-795-6821.

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USBWA All-America Team