Dec. 21, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Mitch
Teammates from three schools highlight the list
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected 20 outstanding players for its 2018-19 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 National Player of the Year.

Oscar Robertson TrophyThe award is to be presented by its namesake at the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis in April.

Three pairs of teammates at Duke, Gonzaga and Nevada highlight the list, with the Atlantic Coast Conference leading all conferences with five selections, including preseason ACC Player of the Year Luke Maye of North Carolina and preseason ACC Rookie of the Year RJ Barrett of Duke, one of four freshmen on the team. Duke’s other standout freshman forward, Zion Williamson, is also on the watch list.

Gonzaga juniors Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke, a transfer from San Jose State who sat out the 2017-18 season, are the other pair of teammates along with Nevada's Jordan Caroline and Caleb Martin, the preseason Mountain West Player of the Year and Nevada's first preseason All-American in school history.

The Watch List is packed with the finest players in the nation. Wisconsin's Ethan Happ, who currently leads the nation in double-doubles with nine, is one of three Big Ten players on the list along with preseason All-American Carsen Edwards of Purdue and standout freshman Ignas Brazdeikis of Michigan. The ACC's other representatives are Nickeil Alexander-Walker of Virginia Tech and sophomore guard De'Andre Hunter of Virginia.

Two-time Summit League Player of the Year Mike Daum of South Dakota State returns to the Watch List for a second consecutive year with his current double-double averages of 24.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. He is one of six seniors tabbed by the USBWA as a national player of the year candidate. Dedric Lawson of Kansas, the preseason Newcomer of the Year in the Big 12, and Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech represent that conference. Bol Bol is the Pac-12's lone watch list member and is also the only true center on the 20-man list.

The Big East tied the Big 12 for the third-most members with two, including its preseason Player of the Year, junior guard Shamorie Ponds of St. John's. Marquette's Markus Howard also made the list. The preseason SEC Player of the Year, junior forward Grant Williams of Tennessee, is on the list along with senior guard CJ Massinburg of upstart Buffalo, which won a program-record 27 games a year ago.

The composition of the team has six seniors, seven juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen.

Following is the complete watch list:

Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
G Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech 6-5 205 So. Toronto, Ont.
F RJ Barrett, Duke 6-7 202 Fr Mississauga, Ont.
C Bol Bol, Oregon 7-2 235 Fr. Olathe, Kan.
F Ignas Brazdeikis, Michigan 6-7 215 Fr. Oakville, Ont.
G/F Jordan Caroline, Nevada 6-7 230 Sr. Champaign, Ill.
F Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga 6-8 215 Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
G Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech 6-6 195 So. Lubbock, Texas
F Mike Daum, South Dakota State 6-9 235 Sr. Kimball, Neb.
G Carsen Edwards, Purdue 6-1 200 Jr. Atascocita, Texas
F Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga 6-8 230 Jr. Toyama, Japan
F Ethan Happ, Wisconsin 6-10 237 Sr. Milan, Ill.
G Markus Howard, Marquette 5-11 175 Jr. Chandler, Ariz.
G De'Andre Hunter, Virginia 6-7 225 So. Philadelphia, Pa.
F Dedric Lawson, Kansas 6-9 235 Jr. Memphis, Tenn.
F Caleb Martin, Nevada 6-7 200 Sr. Mocksville, N.C.
G CJ Massinburg, Buffalo 6-3 194 Sr. Dallas, Texas
F Luke Maye, North Carolina 6-8 240 Sr. Huntersville, N.C.
G Shamorie Ponds, St. John's 6-1 180 Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y.
F Grant Williams, Tennessee 6-7 236 Jr. Charlotte, N.C.
F Zion Williamson, Duke 6-7 285 Fr. Spartanburg, S.C.
By conference: ACC 5; Big Ten 3; Big 12 2; Big East 2; Mountain West 2; West Coast 2; Mid-American 1; Pac-12 1; SEC 1; Summit League 1.
By class: Seniors 6; Juniors 7; Sophomores 3; Freshmen 4.

While these standout players are the initial contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all NCAA Division I players are eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. For the 10th straight season, the USBWA is presented an Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week each Tuesday that began Dec. 11.

In March, the USBWA will announce its 2018-19 All-America Team and, 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.

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 player of the year 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 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 the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.