ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected the Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 22. The USBWA's weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
As the West Coast Conference Player of the Week, Wiltjer was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week. This is the sixth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week.
Wiltjer, a 6-10 junior from Portland, Ore., earned the USBWA's National Player of the Week honor for the second time this season. He scored 45 points – including seven three-pointers and 15-for-22 overall shooting – and grabbed six rebounds in an 86-74 win at Pacific last Thursday. The 45 points is the third-highest single-game total ever at Gonzaga and the highest in 54 years.
Wiltjer followed that up on Saturday with 16 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in a 70-60 win at Saint Mary's. Along the way, Gonzaga overcame a 17-point deficit. With the Zags still tralling by nine with 6:20 remaining, Wiltjer scored 11 of his 16 points down the stretch, including six straight free throws to seal the win.
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.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy will be presented at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14, 2015, 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 following the NCAA Men's Final Four.
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.
Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 34th season. Blue Ribbon – long-known as "The Bible of College Basketball" – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit blueribbonyearbookonline.com.
2014-15 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
• Week ending Dec. 7: Justin Anderson, Virginia (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 14: Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga (West Coast Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 21: Troy Williams, Indiana (Big Ten Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 28: Christian Wood, UNLV (Mountain West Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 4: Tyler Harvey, Eastern Washington (Big Sky Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 11: Travis Trice, Michigan State (Big Ten Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 18: Jerome Hill, Gardner-Webb (Big South Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 25: D'Aneglo Russell, Ohio State (Big Ten Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 1: Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 8: Marcus Posley, St. Bonaventure (Atlantic 10 Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 15: Darrun Hilliard, Villanova (Big East Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 22: Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga (West Coast Conference)