ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Kentucky forward PJ Washington as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 17. The USBWA's weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
As the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, Washington 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. The USBWA has named Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week since the 2009-10 season.
The 6-8 sophomore from Dallas, Texas, averaged 21.5 points as Kentucky knocked off top-ranked Tennessee. Washington punctuated his big week on Saturday in a prime-time telecast, scoring a game-high 23 points to go with five rebounds, two steals and an assist as the Wildcats beat the Vols at Rupp Arena. Earlier in the week he had a game-high 20 points to go with nine rebounds, three assists and a steal in a 73-71 loss to No. 19 LSU.
The win over Tennessee was Kentucky's first over a No. 1 team since a win over top-ranked Ohio State in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, and the 17-point margin was the second-largest in program history when facing the top-ranked team. Washington dominated offensively against Tennessee, shooting 75 percent from the field (9-of-12) and scored Kentucky's first seven points. For the week, he shot 64 percent from the field and has topped the 20-point plateau in four straight games.
Washington, who leads Kentucky in scoring (14.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg), remains one of the nation's hottest players. Over the last eight games, he is averaging 21.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals per game, while shooting 54.4 percent and 50.0 percent from behind the arc. In seven games against AP Top-25 opponents this season, he's averaging 16.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and is shooting 54.3 percent from the field.
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 38th 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.
2018-19 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 2: Markus Howard, Marquette (Big
· Week ending Dec. 9: Admiral
Schofield, Tennessee (Southeastern Conference)
Week ending Dec. 16: Juwan Morgan, Indiana (Big Ten
· Week ending Dec. 23: Markus Howard,
Marquette (Big East Conference)
· Week ending
Dec. 30: Justin Wright-Foreman, Hofstra (Colonial Athletic Association)
Week ending Jan. 6: Shamorie Ponds, St. John's (Big
· Week ending Jan. 13: Bruno
Fernando, Maryland (Big Ten Conference)
ending Jan. 20: Ja Morant, Murray State (Ohio Valley Conference)
Week ending Jan. 27: Grant Williams, Tennessee (Southeastern
· Week ending Feb. 3: Chris Clemons,
Campbell (Big South Conference)
· Week ending
Feb. 10: Robert Franks, Washington State (Pac-12 Conference)
Week ending Feb. 17: PJ Washington, Kentucky (Southeastern
Week ending Feb. 24: Mike Daum, South Dakota State (Summit League)
Week ending March 3: Fletcher Magee, Wofford (Southern Conference)