Denver's Bruner 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, Jan. 28.

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:

Tommy Bruner, Denver (Summit League)

Bruner opened the week by scoring 49 points and dishing out eight assists in a 111-110 double-overtime home win against South Dakota. His 49 points were the most by a Division I player in a game this season and the fifth-most by a Summit League player all-time. The last Division I player to produce that many points and assists in a game was BYU’s Jimmer Fredette at Arizona on Dec. 28, 2009. Bruner, from Columbia, S.C., went toe-to-toe with South Dakota’s Kaleb Stewart, who churned out a career-high 44 points, in the first Division I dueling 40-point games in over three seasons. He scored 12 of his points in the final minute of the first overtime, including a four-point play in the waning seconds to force the second extra session. Bruner collected his third steal of the game in the closing seconds of the second overtime that set up Isaiah Addo-Ankrah’s game-winning three-pointer. Bruner then scored 21 points in a 96-80 loss to Omaha, his 16th game with 20-plus points this season, with four assists and three rebounds. His 35.0 ppg average in the Summit split sent his national-leading average up to 26.1 ppg.

Boo Buie, Northwestern (Big Ten Conference)

Buie averaged 24.0 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game as Northwestern recorded a pair of Big Ten victories over No. 10 Illinois and Ohio State. The graduate student guard from Albany, N.Y., scored a game-high 29 points, including the game-tying shot that forced overtime and eight points in overtime, to go with seven assists and three steals to lead the Wildcats to a 96-91 win over Illinois. He also led Northwestern to an 83-58 win over Ohio State with a game-high 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and a steal. This is the second weekly honor for Buie this season.

RJ Davis, North Carolina (Atlantic Coast Conference)

In earning his third national player of the week honor this season, Davis averaged 30.0 points per game in UNC's wins over Wake Forest and Florida State. A product of White Plains, N.Y., the senior guard hit 23-of-41 (56.1%) from the field, 6-of-16 (37.5%) from behind the arc and 8-of-10 at the free-throw line. He scored a career-high 36 points in the Monday win over Wake Forest, the most by any player in an ACC game since Syracuse’s Cole Swider in 2022, and the most by a Tar Heel since Brice Johnson had 39 at Florida State in 2016. Twenty-three of his points came in the second half as UNC rallied from a halftime deficit. Davis became the first Tar Heel to score 30 or more points and have no turnovers since Justin Jackson against Kentucky in 2016. At Florida State, Davis scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the second half as UNC rallied from a 41-36 deficit to beat the Seminoles, 75-68. Davis hit a twisting shot in the lane with 44 seconds to play to give UNC a four-point lead and iced the win with three free throws in the final 29 seconds.

Jordan Pope, Oregon State (Pac-12 Conference)

Pope averaged 25.0 points on 61 percent shooting (17-for-28) and 5.5 assists as Oregon State swept No. 9 Arizona and Arizona State at Gill Coliseum. The sophomore guard from Oakley, Calif., buried a game-winning three as time expired to cap a career-best 31-point performance in 83-80 upset of the Wildcats for the Beavers' first AP Top 10 win since 2015, also against then-No. 7 Arizona. Pope shot 9-of-15 from the field, 5-of-8 behind the arc and 8-of-10 at the foul line. Against Arizona State, Pope posted 19 points on 8-of-13 field goals, six assists and four rebounds in a 84-71 win.

Vonterius Woolbright, Western Carolina (Southern Conference)

Woolbright has recorded a double-double in 13 straight games and currently leads the nation in double-doubles with 18. The senior guard from Albany, Ga., is one of just three players in the NCAA to have multiple triple-doubles this season. For the week, Woolbright averaged 26.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists. Against UNCG, Woolbright scored 34 points – one away from his career high – going 10-for-21 from the field and 13-for-16 at the charity stripe. He also grabbed 15 rebounds, dished out five assists and had a steal in the contest. His 34 points marked the second time this season that he scored 30-plus points in a game. In the game with VMI, Woolbright logged his second triple-double of the season, finishing with 18 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists and two steals to earn his second Oscar Robertson Trophy weekly honor 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.
• 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.
• Week ending Jan. 28: Tommy Bruner, Denver; Boo Buie, Northwestern; RJ Davis, North Carolina; Jordan Pope, Oregon State; Vonterius Woolbright, Western Carolina.