Kansas State's Nowell is Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week

Photo: David Buono / Icon Sportswire
Photo: David Buono / Icon Sportswire

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Jan. 8.

As the Big 12 Player of the Week, Nowell 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. Nowell is the third K-State player to earn this honor and first since the 2011 season.

The 5-8 guard from Harlem, N.Y., scored a career-best 36 points in a school-record 116-103 road win Jan. 3 at Texas to go with a game-high nine assists and three steals. The 36 points are the seventh-most by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game and the most since 2018. K-State’s 116 points tied for the most scored by a team in a Big 12 league game and is the most registered by an unranked team in a win over a Top 10 opponent since 1988.

The win, and Nowell’s performance, commanded attention from fans and media across the nation. Kansas State (14-1, 3-0) vaulted from unranked to No. 11 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll with its best start in 64 years alongside a three-game win streak over ranked opponents.

Nowell followed with the school's first 30-point/10-assist game in a 97-95 overtime win last Saturday at Baylor, scoring a game-high 32 points to go with a career-best 14 assists in 43 minutes of play. He’s the first Wildcat with consecutive 30-point games since Michael Beasley accomplished it in four straight games from Feb. 23 - March 4, 2008. The 14 assists – the most by a Wildcat in 40 seasons – tied the school record for assists in a conference game as well as tied for the second-most in any game in school history.

Nowell, the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer at 17.0 points per game, is one of two active Division I players with 1,500 points, 500 assists and 200 steals. He lists second nationally (133 total) at 8.9 assists per game and is the 11th active Division I player with 600 career assists. Nowell is shooting 41 percent from the field (71-173), 37.6 percent on three-pointers and hits 87.1 percent of his free throws (81-93).

Kansas State meets Oklahoma State (9-6) at 6 p.m. CT Tuesday at Bramlage Coliseum.

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 winner of the award will announced at the 2023 Men's Final Four in Houston with the formal presentation to follow at the annual USBWA Awards Luncheon hosted by the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.

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.