ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Five standout players from
five different conferences have been named to the U.S. Basketball
Writers Association's 2016-17 All-America First Team. Those
five stars – four of them guards – are the finalists for the prestigious
Oscar Robertson Trophy as the USBWA's Men's National
Player of the Year.
the the Oscar Robertson Trophy finalists were named District Players
of the Year last week by the USBWA and all five were named either
player of the year or freshman player of the year in their respective
The USBWA and the legendary Oscar Robertson will announce the
Oscar Robertson Trophy winner as the national player
of the year at the NCAA Men's Final Four in Glendale, Ariz., at
a press conference on Fri., March 31. The trophy is named after "The
Big O," a three-time national player of the year and All-American
at the University of Cincinnati.
Headlining the first-team All-Americans are a pair of senior
guards: Villanova's Josh Hart and Kansas'
Frank Mason III, both of whom have led their respective
teams to No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Hart was named the
Big East Player of the Year and the USBWA's District II Player of
the Year after leading Villanova to the Big East regular-season
and tournament titles as the league's leading scorer (18.9 ppg);
and Mason, the Big 12 Player of the Year and the District VI Player
of the Year, led the Jawhawks to their 13th straight conference
title. Mason is the fisrt Kansas player to lead the Big 12 in scoring
(20.8 ppg) since the 2004-05 season.
Gonzaga junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss, the
West Coast Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year and an All-District
IX selection, led the Zags to a 29-0 mark and a No. 1 ranking before
settling for conference regular-season and tournament championships
with a 32-1 record. Williams-Goss averages 16.9 points and 4.8 assists
per game for the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament's West Region.
Purdue sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan, the
Big Ten Player of the Year and the USBWA's District IV Player of
the Year, helped the Boilermakers capture the Big Ten regular-season
title by leading the league in rebounding (12.6) while finishing
second in scoring (18.5).
UCLA freshman guard Lonzo Ball, the Pac-12 Freshman
of the Year and District IX Player of the Year, led the Bruins to
a 29-4 record, an 13-win improvement over last season entering the
NCAA Tournament. Ball leads the nation in assists with a Pac-12
freshman record 7.7 per game to go with 14.6 points per game.
While UCLA has had six players win the USBWA National Player
of the Year award a total of nine times, Purdue (Glenn Robinson
in 1994) and Gonzaga (Adam Morrison in 2006; shared with Duke's
J.J. Redick) have each had a winner. Kansas and Villanova have never
had a USBWA National Player of the Year. UCLA's Bill Walton is one
of only two three-time winners (1971-72, '72-73 and '73-74) and
Lew Alcindor won the award twice (1966-67 and '67-68). The last
UCLA player to earn the honor was Ed O'Bannon in the 1994-95 season.
Virginia's Ralph Sampson is the other three-time USBWA National
Player of the Year.
Named to the USBWA's second team are Dillon Brooks
of Oregon, Justin Jackson of North Carolina,
Luke Kennard of Duke, Malik Monk
of Kentucky and Johnathan Motley of Baylor. Brooks
was the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Jackson was the ACC and District
III Player of the Year, Kennard was a unanimous All-ACC First-Teamer,
Monk was the SEC Freshman of the Year and Motley is an All-Big 12
First-Teamer who earned his school's first-ever USBWA All-America
2016-17 USBWA MEN'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM
||Chino Hills, Calif.
freshman to earn first-team honors (Kevin Love, 2008); District
IX Player of the Year
||Silver Spring, Md.
selection from Villanova and first since Randy Foye (2006);
District II Player of the Year
||Frank Mason III,
guard from Kansas since 2010 (Sherron Collins); District
VI Player of the Year
||Fort Wayne, Ind.
honors from Purdue since 2011 (JuJuan Johnson); District
V Player of the Year
||Happy Valley, Ore.
to earn first-team honors (Dickau and Morrison, Olynyk);
All-District IX selection
All-America from Oregon (Greg Ballard, 1976-77); All-District
All-American since 2000; District III Player of the Year
guard to earn All-America honors since 2011 (Nolan Smith);
All-District III selection
freshman to earn All-America honors; District IV Player
of the Year
player to earn USBWA All-America honors; District VII Player
of the Year
The USBWA All-America teams are voted on by members of the USBWA,
which is comprised of over 900 sportswriters and sports journalists
who cover college basketball for newspapers, magazines and websites.
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 Joe Mitch at
USBWA All-America Team
Oscar Robertson Trophy