Florida Atlantic's Davis 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, Dec. 24.

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. This week's selections were delayed a day by the Christmas holiday and were chosen from a list of the conferences that did name a player of the week.

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

Oumar Ballo, Arizona (Pac-12 Conference)
Recorded a pair of double-doubles, averaging 14.5 points and 16.5 rebounds as Arizona split its final two non-conference contests. Ballo opened the week with 16 points and 12 rebounds in 30 minutes in Arizona's 87-74 victory over Alabama on Wednesday. The 7-foot senior center from Koulikoro, Mali, grabbed a career-best and conference single-game high-tying 21 boards and added 12 points, a career high-tying three steals and two assists in a narrow 96-95 double-overtime loss to No. 14 Florida Atlantic. The 21 rebounds were the most for an Arizona player since 2008. For the week Ballo converted 65 percent (11-17) of his free throws, a 20 percent clip above his season average prior to those games.

Johnell Davis, Florida Atlantic (American Athletic Conference)
Davis helped lead Florida Atlantic to its first win over an AP Top-10 team Saturday in a 96-95 double overtime win over No. 4 Arizona in the Desert Holiday Classic in Las Vegas. The junior guard from Gary, Ind., scored 35 points, including 10 points after regulation. Davis also recorded nine rebounds and three steals.

RJ Davis, North Carolina (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Davis scored a game-high 23 points with a game-high five assists, three steals and no turnovers in North Carolina's 81-69 win over seventh-ranked and previously undefeated Oklahoma. The senoir and native of White Plains, N.Y., scored 23 or more points for a seventh straight game - the longest streak by a Tar Heel since 2008. It was his seventh career game with 20 points and five assists and the first time he had 20 and 5 with no turnovers. Davis tied his season high with five three-pointers. He scored 13 of his 23 points in the second half when he made three three-pointers, none bigger than connecting with 3:01 to play after the Sooners went on a 17-7 run to close within five of the Tar Heels’ lead.

Jarod Lucas, Nevada (Mountain West Conference)
Led Nevada to a pair of wins over Temple (80-56) and TCU (88-75) in the first two rounds of the Diamond Head Classic. Lucas averaged 23.5 points and four rebounds while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and 100 percent from the free-throw line. Against Temple, the graduate student from Hacienda Heights, Calif., scored a game-high 22 points while adding two rebounds, two steals and one assist. Lucas recorded a game-high 25 points against TCU while also posting six boards, a steal and an assist.

Vonterius Woolbright, Western Carolina (Southern Conference)
Western Carolina guard Vonterius Woolbright logged two double-doubles last week, securing the SoCon's Player of the Week nod for the second straight week and fourth time overall this season. Woolbright led the Catamounts to a 63-62 upset win at Vanderbilt on Dec. 19. Two days later, Western Carolina defeated Brescia, 85-47, to grab its fourth straight victory before Christmas. Against Vanderbilt, the Albany, Ga., product finished with 22 points, including the game-winning bucket with 1.5 seconds left. He also had 12 rebounds and three assists. Against Brescia, the senior recorded 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to go with seven assists and a pair of steals. For the week, Woolbright averaged 19.0 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists on 12-for-28 (.429) shooting from the field and 12-for-16 (.750) from the free-throw line. After having double-doubles in both games last week, Woolbright leads the nation in double-doubles with nine this 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.
• Week ending Dec. 3: Boo Buie Northwestern; Boogie Ellis, USC; Baylor Scheierman, Creighton; Shahada Wells, McNeese; Trazarien White, UNCW.
• Week ending Dec. 10: Mika Adams-Woods, St. Bonaventure; Enrique Freeman, Akron; David Jones, Memphis; Arthur Kaluma, Kansas State; Tyler Kolek, Marquette.
• Week ending Dec. 17: Tyler Cochran, Toledo; Kevin Cross, Tulane; Fletcher Loyer, Purdue; Ian Martinez, Utah State; Mitchell Saxen, Saint Mary's.
• Week ending Dec. 24: Oumar Ballo, Arizona; Johnell Davis, Florida Atlantic; RJ Davis, North Carolina; Jarod Lucas, Nevada; 
Vonterius Woolbright, Western Carolina.