ST. LOUIS - UConn senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) has been named as one of 15 college basketball players in the country to be included on the 2013-14 Oscar Robertson Trophy Preseason Watch List. The 15 will be contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, which is awarded to the national player of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
The award will be presented by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14, 2014, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala.
Napier, a co-captain of the Huskies for the second straight season, was a first team All-Big East Conference player last season after leading the Huskies in scoring, assists, and three-point percentage, and was second in rebounding. This preseason he has already was a unanimous first-team choice on the American Athletic Conference preseason all-conference team, and he is on the watch lists of the Senior CLASS Award and the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.
There are players from seven total conferences recognized, led by four players from the Big Ten. Napier is one of seven seniors and there are also four sophomore, and four freshmen on the watch list.
While these standout players are the initial contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all NCAA Division I players are eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. For the fourth straight season, the USBWA will present an Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week each Tuesday beginning Dec. 10.
In mid-March, the USBWA will announce its 2013-14 All-America Team and, 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 player of the year award and the only one named after a former player.
The complete watch list:
- Jahii Carson, sophomore, Arizona State
- Aaron Craft, senior, Ohio State
- C.J. Fair, senior, Syracuse
- Aaron Gordon, freshman, Arizona
- Gary Harris, sophomore, Michigan State
- Joe Harris, senior, Virginia
- Doug McDermott, senior, Creighton
- Mitch McGary, sophomore, Michigan
- Shabazz Napier, senior, Connecticut
- Jabari Parker, freshman, Duke
- Adreian Payne, senior, Michigan State
- Julius Randle, freshman, Kentucky
- Marcus Smart, sophomore, Oklahoma State
- Russ Smith, senior, Louisville
- Andrew Wiggins, freshman, Kansas