ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected St. John's guard Shamorie Ponds as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 11. The USBWA's weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
As the Big East Conference Player of the Week, Ponds was nominated for the weekly award, and then chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week. This is the ninth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week.
A 6-1, 175-pound sopohomore from Brooklyn, N.Y., Ponds averaged 35.0 points in leading the Red Storm to a 79-75 win at then-No. 1 Villanova and an 86-78 victory against Marquette. At Villanova last Wednesday, Ponds scored 26 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. The win over the Wildcats marked the program's first against the nation's top-ranked team since Jan. 26, 1985, when Ponds' head coach, Chris Mullin, scored a game-high 20 points to lead St. John's past Patrick Ewing and Georgetown, 66-65.
Against Marquette on Saturday, his 44 points broke the single-game scoring record at Carnesecca Arena and tied for the fifth-most points in a Big East game. Ponds became the first St. John's player to score 40 or more points since Marcus Hatten had 44 against Rutgers on March 6, 2003. He connected on 16 of his 23 field goal attempts, including a 4-of-7 effort from beyond the arc, while converting on eight of nine from the free throw line. In a second half that saw him score 27 points including 13-straight for the Red Storm at one point · Ponds went 9-of-12 from the floor and helped the Red Storm pull away.
For the week, he also averaged 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 55.8 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range. Ponds is now second in the Big East in scoring with 21.4 points per game.
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.
Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 37th season. 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.
2017-18 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 3: Devonté Graham, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
· Week ending Dec. 10: Shannon Evans II, Arizona State (Pac-12 Conference)
· Week ending Dec. 17: Trae Young, Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference)
· Week ending Dec. 24: Trae Young, Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference)
· Week ending Dec. 31: Kelan Martin, Butler (Big East Conference)
· Week ending Jan. 7: Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State (Big Ten Conference)
· Week ending Jan. 14: Chandler Hutchison, Boise State (Mountain West Conference) and Luwane Pipkins, Massachusetts (Atlantic 10 Conference)
· Week ending Jan. 21: Jock Landale, St. Mary's (West Coast Conference)
· Week ending Jan. 28: Kevin Knox, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
· Week ending Feb. 4: Noah Dickerson, Washington (Pac-12 Conference)
· Week ending Feb. 11: Shamorie Ponds, St. John's (Big East Conference)
· Week ending Feb. 18: Matt Mobley, St. Bonaventure (Atlantic 10 Conference)
· Week ending Feb. 25: Carsen Edwards, Purdue (Big Ten Conference)