INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association
has selected Murray State forward KJ Williams as
its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week
for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 13.
As the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week, Williams 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. Williams joins Ja Morant
(Jan. 20, 2019) as the only players from Murray State to earn to
USBWA's weekly national honor.
A 6-10 junior from Cleveland, Miss., Williams averaged 30.0
points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks while shooting
63.9 percent (23-of-36) from the field and 85.7 percent
(12-of-14) from the free throw line in a pair of road conference
wins last week. With the victories, the Racers, one of four
unbeaten teams in conference play, extended their winning streak
to 14 games and improved to 24-2 overall and 14-0 in OVC play.
On Thursday at Tennessee State, Williams scored 31 of his
career-high 39 points after halftime as MSU won 73-62, coming
back from a seven-point halftime deficit. Williams hit 15-of-22
from the field, grabbed six rebounds, blocked two shots and
added a steal in 38 minutes. The 39 points were the 11th-most by
a Murray State player in program history.
Williams followed up on Saturday with his 10th double-double
of the season – 21 points and 12 rebounds – in a
come-from-behind 57-53 win at Morehead State that ended
the Eagles' 20-game home court winning streak. Williams was
8-for-14 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 at the line and
added four steals and a block in 32 minutes. Murray State
finished the comeback with a 17-4 run in the final 5:17 and it
was Williams' bucket with 1:56 to play gave the Racers their
first lead since early in the second half; he added another
field goal, two free throws, a steal and rebound in the final
minute to help seal the win.
Williams is second in the OVC in both scoring (17.4) and
The Racers look to continue their winning ways on Thursday
night against Austin Peay at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
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)
• Week ending
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)