ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Oklahoma guard Trae Young
is the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week
for games ending the week of Dec. 3. Young was selected by CBSSports.com's
Matt Norlander, in partnership with the U.S. Basketball Writers
Norlander's popular weekly freshman watch column will continue
to feature nation's the top freshmen each week in addition to the
national player of the week. Later in the season, the USBWA will
release a midseason watch list before naming finalists for the award.
This season marks the first time a weekly national freshman of the
week will be selected and, each Tuesday through Feb. 27, a standout
first-year player will be chosen for the honor.
Norlander writes of the Norman, Okla., product: "Oklahoma's
97-85 Monday night win over UTSA enable Young to win out over
Arizona's DeAndre Ayton. In the past week Young averaged 30.0
points, 9.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals. Beyond that,
he's gone five straight games with at least 28 points.
Not bad for a guy who was ranked 23rd in his class. That's
going to wind up looking like a misfire by evaluators, but an
understandable one. Young has rapidly developed his game in the
past 18 months. He was always a good prospect, but now he's on
the precipice, already, of sustaining himself as a great player.
Young's 28.7 scoring average is tops in college basketball.
The last time a freshman led college hoops in scoring at the end
of November? You might have a hard time guessing it correctly.
In fact it was Indiana's Eric Gordon, who did it a decade ago.
Even more impressively, Young's able to put up big numbers but
is also getting his teammates involved."
USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89
season when LSU's Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season,
Duke's Jabari Parker became the fourth winner of the Wayman
Tisdale Award. Other notable previous winners of the national freshman
of the year award include Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony,
Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.
The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American
at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S.
Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before
retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In
March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous
and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg
in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
With more than 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 its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at
2017-18 Wayman Tisdale National Freshmen of the Week
Week ending Dec. 3: Trae Young, Oklahoma (Big 12
• Week ending Dec. 10: Deandre
Ayton, Arizona (Pac-12 Conference)