USBWA National Honors: Week ending Dec. 10

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has named five Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week for games of the week ending Sunday, Dec. 10.

For the 2023-24 season, the USBWA has expanded its national player of the week program that has been affiliated with the Oscar Robertson Trophy since the 2009-10 season. In past seasons, the USBWA has recognized just one player each week.

Each Tuesday during the regular season, designated USBWA board members will select five standouts from the 32 Division I conference players of the week to be recognized.

Following are the five players selected for performance this past week:

Mika Adams-Woods, St. Bonaventure (Atlantic 10)
Adams-Woods had one of the best shooting performances in recent memory over the past two Bonnies games, going 19-for-20 from the floor and a perfect 9-for-9 from beyond the arc in conference wins over Niagara and Siena. At Niagara, the graduate guard posted 25 points and five assists, notching a new career-high in scoring. The Syracuse product missed his first field goal attempt at Niagara, but it would be his only miss of the week as he would go on to make his next 19 tries from the floor. In a Franciscan Cup win over Siena, he poured in a game-high 23 points on 9-for-9 shooting including 4-for-4 from deep.

Enrique Freeman, Akron (Mid-American)
Freeman had another superb week as he helped lift the Akron Zips to wins over Bradley and Northern Kentucky. The 6-7 senior forward from Cleveland finished shooting over 75 percent from the field (19-for-25) as he recorded a pair of 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound performances. Freeman now has seven double-doubles on the season while scoring 20-plus points in five games this season. He entered Saturday as just one of nine Division I players to average a double-double and was the only player in the MAC to currently record this feat.

David Jones, Memphis (American Athletic)
Jones helped lead the Tigers to two road victories by averaging 26.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals. The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, product opened the week with 23 points, eight rebounds and four steals Wednesday in an 85-80 overtime victory at VCU. He then backed it up with 29 points, seven boards, two steals and two blocks while draining a career high-tying five triples Sunday against the Aggies in the 81-75 win. Jones is the AAC’s leader in scoring at 20.1 points per game..

Arthur Kaluma, Kansas State (Big 12)
Kaluma helped K-State to a win in a 72-71 overtime thriller over Villanova at home last Tuesday and a 75-60 road victory at LSU on Saturday. He averaged a double-double with 21.5 points on 76.2 percent shooting, including 85.7 percent from 3-point range, to go with 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 39.5 minutes per game. Against Villanova, the junior forward missed his career-high by a single point, scoring a game- and season-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-3 from the 3-point line, along with nine rebounds and a season-high four assists in more than 44 minutes. Kaluma tallied his fifth career double-double in the win at LSU, scoring 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, to go with a game-high 11 rebounds, an assist and a block in 35 minutes.

Tyler Kolek, Marquette (Big East)
In a 2-0 week, Kolek averaged 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists while shooting 70.8 percent from the floor. In an 86-65 victory over No. 12 Texas last Wednesday, the 6-3 senior guard poured in 28 points to go along with eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. In a 78-59 drubbing of Notre Dame on Saturday, Kolek posted 17 points, seven boards and seven assists.

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 award will be announced at the 2024 Men’s Final Four in Glendale, Ariz., with the formal presentation to follow at the annual USBWA Awards Luncheon hosted by the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 800 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 Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.

2023-24 USBWA Men’s Weekly Honors
• Week ending Nov. 12: Armando Bacot, North Carolina; Tucker DeVries, Drake; Terrence Edwards, James Madison; Dillon Jones, Weber State; Ja’Kobe Walter, Baylor.
• Week ending Nov. 19: Hunter Dickinson, Kansas; Jaedon LeDee, San Diego State; Quinten Post, Boston College; Kyle Rode, Liberty; Marcus Tsohonis, Long Beach State.
• Week ending Nov. 26: Zach Edey, Purdue; Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas; Isaiah Stevens, Colorado State; Tyler Thomas, Hofstra; Jamir Watkins, Florida State.
• Week ending Dec. 3: Boo Buie Northwestern; Boogie Ellis, USC; Baylor Scheierman, Creighton; Shahada Wells, McNeese; Trazarien White, UNCW.
• Week ending Dec. 10: Mika Adams-Woods, St. Bonaventure; Enrique Freeman, Akron; David Jones, Memphis; Arthur Kaluma, Kansas State; Tyler Kolek, Marquette.

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) — In a change from the chaos of Top 10 women’s teams getting knocked off since the start of the season, national honorees for the week ending Sunday, Dec.10, came mostly out of the Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., though two came out of notable upsets involving teams not ranked in the Associated Press poll.

And while the expansion of the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week selections this season from one to five would seem to make the decision process easier, there were many more performances this week beyond that number worthy of consideration besides the two for the freshman and team citations.

The USBWA women’s awards, organized under Mel Greenberg, the USBWA Vice President for women’s basketball, are drawn from weekly conference honors as well as at-large additions.

For their performances in the past seven days, this week’s five Ann Meyers Drysdale honorees are UCLA center Lauren Betts, UConn guard Paige Bueckers, Middle Tennessee guard Jalynn Gregory, Toledo guard Quinesha Lockett, and Utah forward Alissa Pili.

The Tamika Catchings national freshman award goes to NC State guard Zoe Brooks while Washington is the National Team of the Week.

Because finals are under way, the number of games are greatly reduced the next several weeks from their larger occurrence.

Betts, a 6-7 sophomore center out of Centennial, Colo., and a transfer from Stanford, has been a main reason UCLA (9-0) has risen to No. 2 in the nation behind South Carolina. On the season she is averaging 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds shooting .774 (65-for-84) from the field with 16 blocked shots. In a 111-49 win over CSUN early in the week she was 7-9 from the field with 18 points. At the Showcase in a first-ever win over then-No. 20 Florida State she was 10-16 from the field with 22 points and 18 rebounds.

Bueckers, a 6-0 redshirt junior guard from Hopkins, Minn., who in 2021 became the first freshman to win the USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year Award, had her best week yet since missing last season with a knee injury, averaging 20.5 points, 3.0 steals and 2.0 assists. She shot .762 from the field and .750 from deep in wins over Ball State and No. 24 North Carolina. In the win over the Tar Heels she had a game-high 26 points with four blocks and three steals, shooting 11-for-14 from the field. On Monday she was named Big East Player of the Week.

Gregory, a 5-8 junior guard from Lafayette, Tenn., starred in a pair of wins including Middle Tennessee’s first-ever triumph over Tennessee. She averaged 23.5 points in the two games and also 50 percent with nine buckets from deep. Five of the 3-pointers came in the Tennessee game. She had a season-high 25 points against Tennessee Tech. Named CUSA Player of the Week on Monday, she leads the league in free-throw percentage (89.4) and is second with 24 made 3-pointers.

Lockett, a 5-10 fifth-year guard from Omaha, Neb., scored 20 points before a first-ever regular-season sellout crowd of 7,082 in Toledo’s lopsided 69-46 win over Michigan, which had been ranked No. 25 in the coaches’ poll. Later in Sunday’s win over Loyola (Md.) she had 10 points, eight rebounds and dished six assists with four steals. On the season, she leads the Rockets with 17.4 points and 6.7 rebounds.

Pili, a 6-2 senior forward from Anchorage, Alaska, who transferred from USC to Utah last season, collected consecutive 30-point performances, including a career-high 37 points against South Carolina at the Showcase in a competitive loss to the Gamecocks. In her previous game in Philadelphia, she set the visiting player arena record with 31 points shooting 12-17 from the field for 70.6 percent against Saint Joseph’s, though that fell by a point two nights later from Villanova’s Lucy Olsen, a USBWA honoree earlier this season. In the South Carolina game, Pili, named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday, was 15-for-23 from the field for 65.2 percent, 4-for-4 from the line, and grabbed three steals.

Brooks, a 5-10 freshman guard from Plainfield, N.J., had the season’s first triple-double in the ACC, scoring 14 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing 10 assists for NC State over Liberty. She joins Tynesha Lewis from 2001 with the only triple-doubles in Wolfpack history. She also had three steals and two blocks against Liberty and on Monday earned the weekly ACC freshman award.

Earning the team award and off to a 10-0 start playing in the Pac-12 opener for both teams, Washington beat its in-state rival, then-No. 21 Washington State, 60-55, on the road. The Huskies had a 20-point lead at the half but had to withstand a surge from the opposition the rest of the way. Hannah Stines, with three makes from deep, helped set a career high with 21 points, and Lauren Schwartz with a similar trio of makes collected 20 points. It was the was first time since 2019 that a visitor had two players eachg reach 20 points in the same game.

Since the 1987-88 season, the USBWA has named a women’s National Player of the Year. For the 2012-13 season, the national and weekly player award became named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale while the national and weekly freshman award is being given in the name of former Tennessee all-American Tamika Catchings, which was applied at the start of the 2019-20 season.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for both individual awards, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winners of the 2024 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year and Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA’s annual awards event on site at the 2024 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Cleveland.

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 a women’s All-America team since the 1996-97 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.

2023-24 USBWA Women’s Weekly Honors 
• Week ending Nov. 12: Caitlin Clark, Iowa; Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina; Saniya Rivers, NC State; Kiki Iriafen, Stanford; Liza Karlen, Marquette (National); JuJu Watkins, Southern Cal (Freshman); Colorado (Team).
• Week ending Nov. 19: Cameron Brink, Stanford; Taylor Jones, Texas; Ayoka Lee, Kansas State; Lucy Olsen, Villanova; Harmoni Turner, Harvard (National); Hannah Hidalgo, Notre Dame (Freshman); Baylor (Team).
• Week ending Nov. 26: River Baldwin, NC State; Caitlin Clark, Iowa; Maggie Doogan, Richmond; Aneesah Morrow, LSU; KiKi Rice, UCLA (National); Zanai Barnett-Gay, Navy (Freshman); Princeton (Team).
• Week ending Dec. 3: Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina; Yvonne Ejim, Gonzaga; Rori Harmon, Texas; Cottie McMahon, Ohio State; Anne Simon, Maine (National); Madison Booker, Texas (Freshman); Southern Miss (Team).
• Week ending Dec. 10: Lauren Betts, UCLA; Paige Bueckers, UConn; Jalynn Gregory, MTSU; Quinesha Lockett, Toledo; Alssa Pili, Utah (National); Zoe Brooks, NC State (Freshman); Washington (Team).

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – Jordan Oates of Salisbury University (Salisbury, Md.) and Lauren Klieber of Neumann University (Aston, Pa.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending December 10.

Oates, a 6-6 senior forward from Hanover, Md., averaged a near 20-20 double-double as Salisbury won both of its games last week. He scored 21 points (8-of-12 FG, 4-of-5 FT, 1-of-2 3FG) in the Sea Gulls’ 78-72 victory at Lancaster Bible on Wednesday. He added 19 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks in the contest. In Saturday’s 80-74 victory over Gettysburg, Oates posted a 20-20 double-double with a season-high 25 points (9-of-19 FG, 4-of-7 FT, 3-of-9 3FG) and a career-high 20 rebounds. He scored 13 in the second half as Salisbury overcame a 10-point deficit, while also contributing three assists and a block in the game. For the week, Oates averaged 23.0 points, 19.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.5 blocks while shooting 54.8 percent (17-of-31) from the field, 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from the foul line, and 36.4 percent (4-of-11) from three-point range. For his efforts, Oates was also named the Coast-To-Coast (C2C) Athletic Conference Player of the Week.

Klieber, a 5-9 junior forward from Malvern, Pa., averaged a double-double in leading Neumann to three victories. She opened the week on Monday with 14 points (6-of-15 FG, 2-of-7 3FG), nine rebounds, two assists, seven steals, and two blocks as the Knights defeated Wilkes, 65-47. Then, on Wednesday, Klieber scored a season-high 31 points (11-of-21 FG, 4-of-5 FT, 5-of-9 3FG), collected 11 rebounds, and added three assists and three steals in a 74-52 win at Penn State Brandywine. She capped the week with another 31-point performance (13-20 FG, 2-of-4 FT, 3-of-4 3FG), including 15 in the fourth quarter, while adding 12 rebounds and a steal in a 66-64 comeback win over Albright on Saturday. For the week, Klieber averaged 25.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 3.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks while shooting 53.6 percent (30-of-56) from the field, 66.7 percent (6-of-9) from the foul line, and 50.0 percent (10-of-20) from three-point land. For her efforts, Anderson was also selected the Atlantic East Conference Player of the Week.

Each Tuesday, the USBWA is selecting men’s and women’s Division III National Players of the Week. This is the ninth season that the USBWA will recognize national players of the week from Division III.

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 its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.

2023-24 USBWA Division III National Players of the Week
• Week ending Dec. 3: Jeff Hunter, Keene State; Natalie Anderson, Trinity (Texas)
• Week ending Dec. 10: Jordan Oates, Salisbury; Lauren Klieber, Neumann

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