Storrs, Conn. – It was announced today by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association that UConn junior guard Kemba Walker (Bronx, N.Y.) has been named a top-10 finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, to be presented to the association’s National Player of the Year.
The Oscar Robertson Trophy is awarded to the USBWA’s Player of the Year. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA’s first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its player of the year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.
Walker currently ranks second in the BIG EAST and seventh in the nation at 22.8 points per game. On the season, he’s averaging 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Walker also ranks tied for third in the BIG EAST with 1.9 steals per game.
Along with the Oscar Robertson Trophy, Walker is a finalist for the Wooden Award as the National Player of the Year and the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard. He was previously named the Sporting News Midseason Player of the Year.
Walker has led Connecticut in scoring 22 out of 28 games this season, including 18 straight to start the year.
Among his accomplishments this season, Walker tied an XL Center and Jim Calhoun-era record against Vermont on November 17 with 42 points. Walker led UConn to the Maui Invitational Championship and was named the Tournament MVP after scoring 31 points (23 in the second half – a Jim Calhoun-era record) against Wichita State, 30 against No. 2 Michigan State and 29 in the victory over No. 8 Kentucky in the championship.
He has hit game-winning/go-ahead shots in the final three minutes of five games this season, at Seton Hall, against No. 7 Villanova, at No. 12 Texas, against No. 2 Michigan State and against Wichita State.
He’s scored 30 points or more seven times this season and recorded a triple-double against UMBC on December 3 with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Walker became just the 11th UConn player to score 600 points in a season.
Walker has led the Huskies to a 21-7 record overall with a 9-7 mark in the BIG EAST Conference. UConn is currently ranked 16/16 in the latest polls.
UConn is in action next when it travels to Morgantown, W.V. to face the Mountaineers on ESPN/espn2 at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2.
The presentation of this year’s award will take place on Friday, April 1 at the USBWA’s annual awards breakfast at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston in conjunction with the NCAA Men’s Final Four. The breakfast will also honor the winner of the Henry Iba Award, the association’s coach of the year and will announce the winner of the first Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year Award.
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The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its awards, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-421-0339.
Oscar Robertson Trophy Finalists:
Jimmer Fredette, Guard - BYU
Jordan Hamilton, Guard/Forward - Texas
JaJuan Johnson, Forward/Center - Purdue
Terrence Jones, Forward - Kentucky
Marcus Morris, Forward - Kansas
Kyle Singler, Forward - Duke
Nolan Smith, Guard - Duke
Jared Sullinger, Center - Ohio State
Kemba Walker, Guard - Connecticut
Derrick Williams, Foward - Arizona