INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers
Association has selected Auburn forward/center Walker
Kessler as its Oscar Robertson National Player
of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Jan.
As the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, his first
career conference weekly honor, Kessler 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. Once again, the USBWA will select a Division I
men's National Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the
season. The USBWA has named Oscar Robertson National Players of
the Week since the 2009-10 season.
A 7-1, 245-pound forward/center from Newnan, Ga., Kessler
posted the second triple-double in program history Dec. 29 in
then-No. 11 Auburns 70-55 home win over No. 16 LSU to open SEC
play. Kessler scored 16 points to go with 10 rebounds and a
career-high 11 blocks in 28 minutes as Auburn (12-1) won its
ninth straight while giving LSU (also 12-1) its first loss in
its only game last week.
The triple-double is only the second in program history,
joining former forward Kenny Gabriel on the Auburn record list,
and the ninth this season in Division I and the first in the
SEC. Kessler shot 75 percent from the field (6 of 8), hit his
only three-point attempt and was 3-of-4 from the line to tie for
game-high scoring (16). He also had an assist. Kessler is the
first player in the SEC to have consecutive games with 7+ blocks
since 2013 he had seven against Murray State on Dec. 22.
The first Auburn player to earn this honor from the USBWA,
Kessler currently leads the SEC in blocks per game at 4.4 which
also lists third nationally. He has a season-best string of four
consecutive double-digit scoring games. According to STATS,
Kessler is the only NCAA Division I player in the last 25 years
to post a triple-double against a 10-0 or better team. The
Tigers continue SEC play tonight at South Carolina (9-3) with a
6:30 p.m. ET tipoff televised on the SEC Network.
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 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 Malcolm
Moran at 814-574-1485.
2021-22 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 12: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona (Pac-12
Week ending Dec. 19: Alondes
Williams, Wake Forest (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Week ending Dec. 26: Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky (Southeastern
Week ending Jan. 2: Walker Kessler,
Auburn (Southeastern Conference)
Jan. 9: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin (Big Ten Conference)
Week ending Jan. 16: Armando Bacot, North Carolina
(Atlantic Coast Conference)
Week ending Jan.
23: Isiaih Mosley, Missouri State (Missouri Valley Conference)
Week ending Jan. 30: Bryce Hamilton, UNLV (Mountain
Week ending Feb. 6: Hunter
Maldonado, Wyoming (Mountain West Conference)
Week ending Feb. 13: KJ Williams, Murray State (Ohio
Week ending Feb. 20: Julian
Champagnie, St. John's (Big East Conference)
Week ending Feb. 27: KJ Williams, Murray State (Ohio
All-time USBWA National
Players of the Week (Since 2009-10)