Lillard named to Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list
Courtesy: Weber State  
Release: Sunday 02/06/2012
Courtesy: Robert Casey
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Lillard is just the second Wildcat ever to score 1,700 career points.

The honors keep coming in for Weber State’s Damian Lillard.  Lillard was named to the 2012 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch list Monday by the United State Basketball Writer’s Association. 

Lillard, who leads the nation in scoring at 25.5 points per game, is one of 20 players from across the nation named to the midseason watch list.  Members of the association’s board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake in New Orleans at the USBWA’s College Basketball Awards Breakfast on March 30.

Lillard, a 6-3 point guard from Oakland, Calif., is having an outstanding season for the Wildcats, leading Weber State to an 18-4 overall record and a 10-1 record in Big Sky Conference action.  He has scored 562 points in 22 games this season, already the 13th most points in WSU single-season history.  His 25.5 scoring average is the best single-season average by more than two points a game.  Lillard has led the nation in scoring since late November. 

Lillard is the only player in the nation to score 40 or more points in a game twice.  He had a career-high 41 points against San Jose State and last week scored 40 in a win over Portland State.  Lillard is also averaging 5.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.  He has scored 20 or more points 16 times this season and has reached 30 or more seven times. 

Last weekend Lillard averaged 37.5 points per game in leading Weber State to two home wins.  He also became just the second player in school history with 1,700 career points.  He is currently second in school history in career points and career three-pointers.  

Three North Carolina teammates and a pair of Kentucky freshman headline the list for the Robertson trophy. The Tar Heel trio of Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller join Wildcat first-year phenoms Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The list also includes Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Tyler’s younger brother.

Three Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week from this season are featured as well: Damian Lillard from Weber State, Doug McDermott from Creighton and Thomas Robinson of Kansas. Last season’s Wayman Tisdale Award winner as the National Freshman of the Year, Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, is also among the players to watch down the stretch.

Overall, the list is balanced by class with five seniors, six juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen appearing. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference each boast four players on the list to lead all conferences, while a total of nine conferences are represented.

This season Lillard has also been named as a finalist for the John Wooden Award and the Bob Cousy Award, recognizing the nation’s top point guard.  He was honored as the National Player of the Week by the USBWA on Jan. 10.  

Following is the complete watch list:

F Harrison Barnes, North Carolina (6-8, 215, So., Ames, Iowa)
G Isaiah Canaan, Murray State (6-0, 193, Jr., Biloxi, Miss.)
F Anthony Davis, Kentucky (6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.)
G Marcus Denmon, Missouri (6-3, 185, Sr., Kansas City, Mo.)
F Draymond Green, Michigan State (6-7, 230, Sr., Saginaw, Mich.)
F John Henson, North Carolina (6-11, 220, Jr., Tampa, Fla.)
G John Jenkins, Vanderbilt (6-4, 220, Jr., Hendersonville, Tenn.)
F Kevin Jones, West Virginia (6-8, 260, Sr., Mount Vernon, N.Y.)
F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (6-7, 232, Fr., Somerdale, N.J.)
G/F Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut (6-5, 180, So., Norcross, Ga.)
F Perry Jones III, Baylor (6-11, 235, So., Duncanville, Texas)
G Damian Lillard, Weber State (6-3, 195, Jr., Oakland, Calif.)
F Doug McDermott, Creighton (6-7, 220, So., Ames, Iowa)
F Mike Moser, UNLV (6-8, 210, So., Portland, Ore.)
F Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State (6-11, 249, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.)
F Thomas Robinson, Kansas (6-10, 230, Jr., Washington, D.C.)
F Mike Scott, Virginia (6-8, 237, Sr., Chesapeake, Va.)
F Jared Sullinger, Ohio State (6-9, 280, So., Columbus, Ohio)
F Cody Zeller, Indiana (6-11, 230, Fr., Washington, Ind.)
C Tyler Zeller, North Carolina (7-0, 250, Sr., Washington, Ind.)

By conference: ACC (4); SEC (4); Big Ten (3); Big 12 (3); Big East (2); Big Sky (1); Missouri Valley (1); Mountain West (1); Ohio Valley (1).
By class: Seniors (5); Juniors (6); Sophomores (6); Freshmen (3).

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 2012 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.

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.

Tickets for the USBWA's College Basketball Awards Breakfast are $75 and $750 for a table of ten. They can be purchased online at the association's official website, usbwa.com, or by calling 504-324-4242.

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.


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