Purdue's Edey headlines Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has named five Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week for games of the week ending Sunday, Nov. 26.

For the 2023-24 season, the USBWA has expanded its national player of the week program that has been affiliated with the Oscar Robertson Trophy since the 2009-10 season. In past seasons, the USBWA has recognized just one player each week.

Each Tuesday during the regular season, designated USBWA board members will select five standouts from the 32 Division I conference players of the week to be recognized.

Following are the five players selected for performance this past week:

Zach Edey, Purdue (Big Ten Conference)
The 2023 Oscar Robertson Trophy winner was named the MVP at the Allstate Maui Invitational after averaging 25.3 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots. The 7-4 senior center posted three consecutive games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds as top-ranked Purdue beat then-No. 11/10 Gonzaga, then-No. 7/8 Tennessee, and then-No. 4/5 Marquette in the tournament. Edey shot .577 from the field and .667 from the free throw line while playing 31.3 minutes in the three games.

Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
McCullar averaged 20.0 points and 8.3 rebounds at the Allstate Maui Invitational, which included games against two top-7 teams. The graduate senior from San Antonio, Texas, recorded his second straight triple-double (22 pts, 11 reb, 10 ast) in the game against Chaminade to become the first Big 12 player and the seventh overall in NCAA history to accomplish the feat. During the Jayhawks’ loss to then-No. 4 Marquette, McCullar shot 64.3 percent (9-14) from the field for 24 points before he closed the week with 14 points and a team high-tying eight rebounds vs. Tennessee.

Isaiah Stevens, Colorado State (Mountain West Conference)
Colorado State knocked off its first top-10 ranked team in 39 years and Isaiah Stevens turned in an MVP performance at the Hall of Fame Classic last week. The two feats earned the Allen, Texas, product the Mountain West Player of the Week honor and CSU entered both the AP and USA Today Coaches Top 25 at No. 20 and 21, respectively. Stevens and the Rams won the title with a 21-point win over No. 8/7 Creighton, the program’s first win over a top-10 team since 1984 and fifth overall. Stevens averaged 19.0 points, 7.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals while shooting 58.6 percent from the field and 60.0 percent behind the arc, to go with a 5.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. In the win over Creighton, he scored 20 points and dished out seven assists while grabbing six rebounds.

Tyler Thomas, Hofstra (Coastal Athletic Association)
Thomas had a remarkable week in leading the Pride to the Gulf Coast Showcase title. The guard from New Haven, Conn., averaged 30.3 points per game in a 3-0 trip to Florida with 21 against Buffalo, 30 vs. Wright State, and 40 in an overtime triumph over High Point for the tournament championship. Thomas shot 50 percent (30-for-60) from the floor and 45 percent (13-for-29) from three while playing 115 of a possible 125 minutes. His 40 points against High Point are the most in the nation this season.

Jamir Watkins, Florida State (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Watkins, a junior guard, was named the MVP of the Sunshine Slam as he averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals in victories over UNLV and No. 18 Colorado. The Trenton, N.J., product scored 19 points with four rebounds and a career-high eight assists in FSU’s Monday victory over UNLV. He returned the next night and posted a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds with four assists and four steals. Watkins shot 68.2 percent from the field (15-of-22) and 50 percent from the 3-point line (2-of-4) as Florida State upped its record to 4-1 on the season.

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 be announced at the 2024 Men's Final Four in Glendale, Ariz., 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 800 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.

2023-24 USBWA Men's Weekly Honors
• Week ending Nov. 12: Armando Bacot, North Carolina; Tucker DeVries, Drake; Terrence Edwards, James Madison; Dillon Jones, Weber State; Ja’Kobe Walter, Baylor.
• Week ending Nov. 19: Hunter Dickinson, Kansas; Jaedon LeDee, San Diego State; Quinten Post, Boston College; Kyle Rode, Liberty; Marcus Tsohonis, Long Beach State.
• Week ending Nov. 26: Zach Edey, Purdue; Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas; Isaiah Stevens, Colorado State; Tyler Thomas, Hofstra; Jamir Watkins, Florida State.