DURHAM, N.C. – Duke’s Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker were among the 23 players selected to the 2014 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List as announced by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Wednesday. Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy.
Duke is 15-4 on the season, including a 4-2 mark in league play, with Hood and Parker proving to be one of the top tandems in the country. Hood ranks in the top five in the ACC in scoring (17.6 ppg., 4th), field goal percentage (.521, 2nd), free throw percentage (.847, 5th) and three-point percentage (.459, 1st). He has scored 20 or more points eight times, including a career-best 30-point effort in a win over East Carolina.
Parker is having an impressive freshman campaign averaging 18.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He is tied for second in the ACC in scoring and tied for fourth in rebounds, while also ranking fifth in field goal percentage (.483). Parker has already matched a Duke freshman record with 11 games with 20 or more points scored. He posted 17 points and a season-high 15 rebounds in Duke’s win over Miami (Jan. 22) and is now tied for third in the ACC with five double-doubles on the year.
The award is to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.
Creighton's Doug McDermott, a first-team USBWA All-American last season, headlines the list, while teammates from six different schools – Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Syracuse and Wichita State – are also lauded. Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, the 2013 Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year and a second-team USBWA All-American a season ago, is also featured. Overall, 10 conferences are represented, led by the Atlantic Coast Conference with five players and the Big 12 Conference with four.
While these standout players are the leading contenders to be named to the USBWA's All-America Team and as finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all Division I players remain eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. The association will announce its 2014 All-America Team in mid-March. 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.
Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, email@example.com). The April 14 banquet will also honor Kansas coach Bill Self as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.
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 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 some 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.
2014 OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
Keith Appling, Michigan State
Cameron Bairstow, New Mexico
Cleanthony Early, Wichita State
Joel Embiid, Kansas
Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
C.J. Fair, Syracuse
Aaron Gordon, Arizona
Gary Harris, Michigan State
Rodney Hood, Duke
Nick Johnson, Arizona
DeAndre Kane, Iowa State
Doug McDermott, Creighton
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
Jabari Parker, Duke
Lamar Patterson, Pittsburgh
Casey Prather, Florida
Julius Randle, Kentucky
Russ Smith, Louisville
Xavier Thames, San Diego State
Fred Van Vleet, Wichita State
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
Chaz Williams, Massachusetts
By conference: ACC (5); Big 12 (4); American Athletic (2); Big Ten (2); Missouri Valley (2); Mountain West (2); Pac-12 (2); SEC (2); Atlantic 10 (1); Big East (1).
By class: Seniors (12); Juniors (1); Sophomores (4); Freshmen (6)