ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Arizona center Deandre Ayton
is the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week
for games ending the week of Feb. 25. Ayton was selected by CBSSports.com's
Matt Norlander, in partnership with the U.S. Basketball
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 Nassau, Bahamas, product: "(Ayton)
looked possessed against Oregon on Saturday night. He had 28
points, 14 rebounds and four blocks while shooting 11-of-15 from
the field and anger-dunking his way through the evening as a
means of therapy, it seemed. Prior to that, when things were
much quieter on Thursday, Ayton had 19 points, 12 rebounds, four
assists and three blocks against overmatched Oregon State."
The 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 Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 10: Deandre Ayton, Arizona (Pac-12 Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 17: David Jenkins Jr., South Dakota State (Summit League)
• Week ending Dec. 24: Trae Young, Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 31: Mohamed Bamba, Texas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 7: McKinely Wright IV, Colorado (Pac-12 Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 14: Trae Young, Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 21: R.J. Cole, Howard (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 28: Kevin Knox, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 4: Trae Young, Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 11: Cameron Lard, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 18: Mohamed Bamba, Texas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 25: Deandre Ayton, Arizona (Pac-12 Conference)