INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Dec. 26.
As the Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Week, Tshiebwe 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. Once again, the USBWA will select a Division I men's National Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the season. The USBWA has named Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week since the 2009-10 season.
Tshiebwe, a 6-9 junior forward from Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, set a Rupp Arena record with 28 rebounds last Wednesday in Kentuckys 95-60 win over Western Kentucky, shattering the previous mark of 21 set by LSU's Shaquille O'Neal on Feb. 15, 1990. The 26 boards are the most in a Division I game since the 2015 season and the mark ties for the sixth-best total in program history and the most in 45 seasons since Mike Phillips had 28 in an overtime game against Tennessee on Jan. 10, 1976. The 28 boards are the most in a regulation-length UK game since 1969 when Dan Issel grabbed 29 against LSU.
The performance marks the third time this season for Tshiebwe to have 20 or more rebounds and he has had stats lines with double-digit rebounds in all but one game this season. He added 14 points against WKU for his ninth double-double of the season, the second-most in the nation through games of Dec. 22.
Kentucky (9-2) only played the single game last week, scheduling WKU as a replacement since its previously-scheduled game that day against Louisville was postponed. Tshiebwe currently leads the Wildcats in points per game (16.1), rebounds per game (15.5), blocks per game (1.6) and field-goal percentage (64.9). Since the 1978-79 season, only four Wildcats have led the team in those four categories with a minimum of 130 field-goal attempts in a single season: Kenny Walker in 1984-85 and 1985-86, Jamaal Magloire in 1999-2000, Randolph Morris in 2006-07, and Anthony Davis in 2011-12.
Tshiebwe is the seventh Kentucky player to earn this honor from the USBWA and the Wildcats' first since forward Nick Richards in this same week of the 2019-20 season. Tshiebwe is the first Oscar Robertson Trophy weekly winner to be named Oscar.
The Wildcats open SEC play Wednesday at home against Missouri with a 7 p.m. ET tipoff televised on the SEC Network.
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.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership.
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 Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.
2021-22 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 12: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona (Pac-12
· Week ending Dec. 19: Alondes
Williams, Wake Forest (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Week ending Dec. 26: Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky (Southeastern
· Week ending Jan. 2: Walker Kessler,
Auburn (Southeastern Conference)
· Week ending
Jan. 9: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin (Big Ten Conference)
Week ending Jan. 16: Armando Bacot, North Carolina
(Atlantic Coast Conference)
· Week ending Jan.
23: Isiaih Mosley, Missouri State (Missouri Valley Conference)
Week ending Jan. 30: Bryce Hamilton, UNLV (Mountain
· Week ending Feb. 6: Hunter
Maldonado, Wyoming (Mountain West Conference)
Week ending Feb. 13: KJ Williams, Murray State (Ohio
· Week ending Feb. 20: Julian
Champagnie, St. John's (Big East Conference)
Week ending Feb. 27: KJ Williams, Murray State (Ohio
· Week ending March 6: Jaime
Jaquez Jr., UCLA (Pac-12 Conference)