UofL's Russ Smith on Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List
01/31/2013 01:09 PM
via the University of Louisville athletics department
University of Louisville junior guard Russ Smith is one of 12 players selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for its 2013 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List. Members of the association’s board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac.
The award is to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 15 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Smith is among the BIG EAST Conference leaders in scoring (18.4 points per game, third in the BIG EAST), steals (2.2, third, 22nd nationally) and free throw percentage (.790, ninth). He has scored in double figures in all but two games this season and has scored 20 or more on ten occasions. He was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 and was the fifth-highest vote-getter on a Jan. 10 ESPN.com poll of Player of the Year candidates at mid-season.
Teammates from Indiana and Kansas headline the watch list that includes four Big Ten players. Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are joined by fellow Big Ten standouts Trey Burke of Michigan and Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State. The pair of Jayhawks named to the list are Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey. Big East standouts Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse and Smith join ACC star Mason Plumlee of Duke as players who were also recognized.
A pair of Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week from this season are featured as well: Doug McDermott from Creighton and Burke. Also, two natives of Canada, UNLV’s Anthony Bennett and Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk, were selected. Overall, the list is balanced by class with two seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen appearing.
While these standout players are the leading contenders to be named to the USBWA’s All-America Team and as finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all Division I players remain eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. The association will announce its 2013 All-America Team in mid-March. At that time, finalists will also be chosen for the player of the year. Once finalists are announced, the entire USBWA membership will vote for the winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy.
Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at the Tisdale Award website, access-sports.net, or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, email@example.com). The April 15 banquet will also honor Michigan State coach Tom Izzo as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.
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.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 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 Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.
Following is the complete 12-person watch list supplied by the USBWA:
2013 OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
Pos. No. Player, School Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
F 15 Anthony Bennett, UNLV 6-8 240 Fr. Brampton, Ont.
G 3 Trey Burke, Michigan 6-0 190 So. Columbus, Ohio
G 1 Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse 6-6 185 So. Hamilton, Mass.
F 3 Doug McDermott, Creighton 6-8 225 Jr. Ames, Iowa
G 23 Ben McLemore, Kansas 6-5 195 Fr. St. Louis, Mo.
G 4 Victor Oladipo, Indiana 6-5 214 Jr. Upper Marlboro, Md.
F 13 Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga 7-0 238 Jr. Kamloops, B.C.
F 5 Mason Plumlee, Duke 6-10 235 Sr. Warsaw, Ind.
G 2 Russ Smith, Louisville 6-1 165 Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y.
F 1 Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State 6-7 215 Jr. Fort Wayne, Ind.
C 5 Jeff Withey, Kansas 7-0 235 Sr. San Diego, Calif.
F 40 Cody Zeller, Indiana 7-0 240 So. Washington, Ind.
By conference: Big Ten (4), Big 12 (2), Big East (2), ACC (1), Missouri Valley (1), Mountain West (1), West Coast (1).
By class: Seniors (2); Juniors (5); Sophomores (3); Freshmen (2)
The complete release is available at this link: http://www.sportswriters.net/usbwa/news/2013/oscar130131.html
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