Feb. 26, 2009
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- University of Memphis freshman guard Tyreke Evans has been named one of 15 finalists for the U.S. Basketball Writers of America's (USBWA) National Player of the Year award, the organization announced Thursday. The USBWA Player of the Year is the Oscar Robertson Trophy. Evans is the only freshman among the Robertson Trophy finalists.
This is the second-straight year and the third time in the last four seasons that a Tiger player is a finalist for the Robertson Trophy. Chris Douglas-Roberts was a finalist in 2007-08, while Rodney Carney was a finalist for the honor in 2005-06.
Evans, an eight-time Conference USA Rookie of the Week recipient, leads the Tigers in scoring with a 17.1 average. He is also averaging 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals. Evans is second on the team in assists and leads the squad in steals. The Chester, Pa., native is shooting 45.8 percent from the field, 31.9 percent from the arc and 70.5 percent from the free throw line. He is ranked among the Conference USA leaders in scoring (7th), rebounding (18th), field goal percentage (9th), assists (11th) and steals (2nd).
In mid-January, Evans was named to collegehoops.net Mid-Season All-Freshman first team.
Joining Evans as finalists for the Robertson Trophy are: Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, Kansas' Sherron Collins, Villanova's Dante Cunningham, Davidson's Stephen Curry, Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody, Arizona State's James Harden, Marquette's Jerel McNeal, Kentucky's Jodie Meeks, Connecticut's Hasheem Thabeet, Wake Forest's Jeff Teague and Ohio State's Evan Turner.
The Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA, which consists of nearly 800 journalists. The ballot will be distributed to the membership on Mar. 2. The presentation of this year's award will take place on Apr. 3 at the USBWA's annual awards breakfast at the downtown Detroit Athletic Club in conjunction with the NCAA Men's Final Four.
The Robertson Trophy is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its Player of the Year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.