Washington State's Jones highlights 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, Jan. 14.

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 New Year’s 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 performances this past week:

Keenon Cole, Lindenwood (Ohio Valley Conference)
Cole averaged 31.0 points and 7.0 rebounds while hitting 50 percent (16-of-32) from the field and 87.1 percent (27-of-31) at the line in two games. The senior forward from Streamwood, Ill., scored 42 points, the most by a Division I player in a game this season, in the team’s 74-68 win at Southeast Missouri. It also marked the most by a Lindenwood player in its Division I era and the most by an OVC player since February 2019. The senior had 11 rebounds and two steals and hit 13-of-23 shots (3-of-6 3-pointers) and made 13-of-16 free throws. He ended the week with 20 points, three rebounds, a block and an assist at Tennessee State, hitting 14-of-15 free throws. Cole ranks second in the OVC in scoring (18.9) in all games and first in league-only games (23.0).

Frankie Fidler, Omaha (Summit League)
For the week, Fidler averaged 31.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 4.0 apg in two Summit League wins while shooting 26-for-29 from the foul line (89.7 percent). He leads the league in free throw percentage at 87.5 percent as the Mavericks have moved into a tie at the top of the conference standings. The junior forward from Omaha, Neb., scored 29 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out a season-high six assists in the Mavericks’ 79-61 win over North Dakota. He also went 18-for-20 from the charity stripe – the 18 makes were the second most by a Division I player in a game this season. In Omaha’s 96-92 overtime win against North Dakota State, Fidler registered season-highs with 34 points and 12 rebounds to post his second double-double of the season. He went 11-for-19 from the field, including a 4-for-6 effort on 3-pointers. Fidler made a key 3-point play with 1:09 left in regulation to help the Mavericks erase a nine-point, second-half deficit and help force the extra session. He opened overtime with a 3-pointer and went 4-for-4 from the foul line in the closing minute to help seal the win.

Jordan Johnson, New Orleans (Southland Conference)
Johnson averaged 38.0 points over the last two games for New Orleans. He scored 36 points with six assists, four steals and four rebounds in the 88-85 win over Texas A&M-Commerce last Monday. He also made a career-high 14 free throws. In Saturday's 83-80 win over two-time defending champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Johnson tied for sixth in program history for most points scored in a single game with 40 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. The 40 points came on 10-of-15 from the field, 6-of-7 from long range and 14-of-16 from the foul line to match his career high. Averaging 22.9 points on the season, Johnson is third in the country in scoring.

Isaac Jones, Washington State (Pac-12 Conference)
Jones averaged a double-double of 25.0 points and 12.0 rebounds to lead Washington State to a sweep of No. 8 Arizona and USC, the top two teams in the Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll. The fifth-year forward from Spanaway, Wash., shot 60 percent from the field (15-25) and 80 percent from the foul line (20-25) and combined for 15 points on perfect shooting (5-5 FG, 5-5 FT) inside the final 5:00 of the two victories. Jones opened the week with a 26-point, 11-rebound double-double (7-10 FG, 12-15 FT) along with three assists off the bench in a 72-64 road victory at USC, snapping a seven-game slide at the Galen Center dating to 2016. He followed it with a 24-point, 13-rebound double-double (8-15 FG, 8-10 FT) as the Cougars knocked off a top-10 Arizona team, 73-70, for the second consecutive season.

Dalton Knecht, Tennessee (Southeastern Conference)
Knecht, a 6-6, 213-pound fifth-year player from Thornton, Colo., averaged 32.0 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals at Mississippi State and at Georgia. He shot 22-of-38 (57.9 percent) overall, including 9-of-17 (52.8 percent) from deep in the pair of SEC road games. He is one of three Division players to have multiple 36-point games this season after putting up 36 at Georgia.

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.
• Week ending Dec. 31: T.J. Bickerstaff, James Madison; Branden Carlson, Utah; Xavier Johnson, Southern Illinois; Noah Reynolds, Green Bay; Reese Waters, San Diego State.
• Week ending Jan. 7: Armando Bacot, North Carolina; James Bishop IV, George Washington; Marcus Domask, Illinois; Jonathan Mogbo, San Francisco; Great Osobor, Utah State.
• Week ending Jan. 14: Keenon Cole, Lindenwood; Frankie Fidler, Omaha; Jordan Johnson, New Orleans; Isaac Jones, Washington State; Dalton Knecht, Tennessee.