McLemore and Withey Named Finalists for USBWA National Player of the Year Trophy
March 4, 2013
ST. LOUIS – Kansas’ Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey were named finalists for the 2013 Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Trophy presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and McLemore is one of eight finalists for the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award, the USBWA announced Monday.
Kansas and Indiana are the only schools with two listed among the 14 finalists for the 2013 Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Trophy presented by Aflac.
McLemore is coming off a 36-point game against West Virginia, March 2. The 6-foot-5 St. Louis, Mo., guard has three games of 30 or more points, all against Big 12 competition, and his 36 points versus the Mountaineers set the Kansas freshman record held by Jayhawk legend Danny Manning who had 35 points against Oklahoma State in 1985. A two-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week and once named the league’s Player of the Week, McLemore ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.6 points per game, leads the league in free throw percentage (87.2) and is second in three-point field goal percentage (44.2). He has eight games of 20 or more points this season and his other 30-point games were 33 vs. Iowa State (1/9) and 30 vs. then-No. 10 Kansas State (2/11).
Withey is closing his senior season on a high note. The 7-foot San Diego, Calif., center is tied for the Big 12 lead with 12 double-doubles this season, including five double-doubles in his last six games. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week selection in 2012-13, Withey is averaging 13.6 points per game, 11th in the league, and his 8.6 rebound average is third in the conference. Withey currently ranks third nationally with 4.0 blocked shots and his 116 blocks this season are third most on the KU single-season list.
Withey is the Kansas and Big 12 Conference all-time blocked shots leader, currently at 281. Earlier this season, he recorded the second official triple-double in school history with 16 points, 12 rebounds and a school and Big 12-record 12 blocked shots against San Jose State (11/26). He had nine blocked shots against West Virginia Saturday (3/2), which is one of only 16 performances this season of nine or more blocked shots in NCAA Division I – three of which belong to Withey. The 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Withey set the school and league single-season blocked shots record with 140 last season. He also set the NCAA Tournament record with 31 blocked shots in KU’s run to the national title game.
Members of the association’s board of directors chose the finalists and the entire 900-member USBWA will vote on the awards as well as the annual All-America and All-District teams. The recipients are to be announced on Friday, April 5 in Atlanta at a 9:15 a.m. ET press conference and then formally presented at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on Mon., April 15 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
For a complete list of finalists go to usbwa.com.
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