ST. LOUIS (USBWA) Duke forward Zion Williamson is the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for games ending the week of Dec. 3. Williamson was selected by CBSSports.com's Matt Norlander, in partnership with the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Norlander's popular weekly freshman watch column will continue to feature nation's the top freshmen each week in addition to the national player of the week. Later in the season, the USBWA will release a midseason watch list before naming finalists for the award. This season marks the first time a weekly national freshman of the week will be selected and, each Tuesday through Feb. 26, a standout first-year player will be chosen for the honor.
Norlander writes of the Spartanburg, S.C., product: "As for Freshman of the Week, Williamson edged out Michigan's Iggy Brazdeikis and Detroit's Antoine Davis. As a reminder, our weekly cycle for Freshman of the Week consideration runs from Tuesday through Monday. Duke's 2-0 run vs. Indiana and Stetson led Williamson to average 21.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals, 3.0 assists and a silly 75-percent field-goal percentage in just 47 minutes total between both games.
Williamson's efficiency, more than anything, clinched him earning Freshman of the Week for Nov. 27-Dec. 3. All told, it's remarkable that Williamson has managed to vastly exceed his hype. He was the most famous high school player in years, and through the first month of the season he's been far more dominant than even his most ardent supporters could have anticipated."
The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU's Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season, Oklahoma's Trae Young became the fifth winner of the Wayman Tisdale Award. Other notable previous winners of the national freshman of the year award include Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.
The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.
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 its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.
2018-19 Wayman Tisdale National Freshmen of the Week
Week ending Dec. 2: Zion Williamson, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
· Week ending Dec. 9: RJ Barrett, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
· Week ending Dec. 16: Wynston Tabbs, Boston College (Atlantic Coast Conference)
· Week ending Dec. 23: Mac McClung, Georgetown (Big East Conference)
· Week ending Dec. 30: Tyler Herro, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
· Week ending Jan. 6: Antoine Davis, Detroit (Horizon League)
· Week ending Jan. 13: Jaylen Gardner, East Carolina (American Athletic Conference)
· Week ending Jan. 20: Zion Williamson, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
· Week ending Jan. 27: Zion Williamson, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
· Week ending Feb. 3: Lamine Diane, Cal State Northridge (Big West Conference)
· Week ending Feb. 10: Devon Dotson, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)1
· Week ending Feb. 17: Jalen Pickett, Siena (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
· Week ending Feb. 24: RJ Barrett, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)