Houston's Shead, Purdue's Edey headline 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. 21.

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 chosen from a list of the conferences that named a player of the week on Monday.

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

Zach Edey, Purdue (Big Ten Conference)
Edey averaged 31.5 points on 55.3 percent shooting with 16.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots as No. 2 Purdue scored a pair of Big Ten wins. The 2022-23 Oscar Robertson Trophy winner from Toronto, Canada, tallied 33 points and 14 rebounds in the Boilermakers’ 87-66 victory at Indiana. He then notched 30 points and 18 boards as Purdue topped Iowa 84-70.

Kezza Giffa, High Point (Big South Conference)
Giffa averaged 28.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 48.4 percent from the field (15-of-31), 45.5 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-11) and 84.0 percent from the charity stripe (21-of-25) in two Big South victories. The junior guard from Paris, France, opened with a team-high 27 points in 32 minutes off the bench in the Panthers’ win at Presbyterian last Wednesday in which he was 8-of-12 from the floor with three treys, as well as 8-of-10 from the line. Giffa then started his first game of the season on Saturday and scored a team-best 29 points in which he made 13-of-15 free throws while handing out five assists to help High Point hold off Charleston Southern.

DaRon Holmes II, Dayton (Atlantic 10 Conference)
Holmes averaged a double-double in leading Dayton to a pair wins and extending the Flyers’ winning streak to 12 games. He averaged 25.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots in the two games while shooting 61.5 percent (16-of-26) from the field and 40 percent (2-for-5) from three. In Tuesday's win over Saint Louis, the junior forward from Goodyear, Ariz., scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half. He also grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked four shots and had two steals. He followed that with 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and another three blocks Saturday versus Rhode Island. In 36 minutes of play over the second half of Saint Louis and first half of Rhode Island, he scored 43 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked six shots.

Dalton Knecht, Tennessee (Southeastern Conference)
Knecht averaged 32 points, six rebounds and 1.5 assists in wins over Florida and Alabama. The fifth-year guard from Thornton, Ga., shot 21-of-43 (48.8 percent) overall, including 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from deep, as well as making all 17 of his free throws. His career-high 39 points against Florida made him the first SEC player since Shaquille O'Neal in 1991 to have back-to-back 35-point outings (per Jared Berson). Knecht's 25-point showing versus Alabama made him the fifth SEC player in the last 14 seasons (2010-24) to score 25-plus points in four straight games.

Jamal Shead, Houston (Big 12 Conference)
Shead led Houston with 19.5 points, 7.5 assists and 3.0 steals along with a 3.75 assist-turnover ratio in Big 12 wins over No. 25 Texas Tech and UCF. The senior guard scored a career-high 29 points and set a personal best and Fertitta Center-record with 12 field goals against the Red Raiders. He made two of his first five shots and then drained 10 of his last 11 to help the Cougars snap a two-game losing streak. Shead recorded his second double-digit assist performance of the season and the 12th of his career with only two turnovers. Against UCF, he contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals while committing just two turnovers.

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.
• Week ending Jan. 21: Zach Edey, Purdue; Kezza Giffa, High Point; DaRon Holmes II, Dayton; Dalton Knecht, Tennessee; Jamal Shead, Houston.