ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected the Kentucky forward Julius Randleas its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 23. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and is announced exclusively on SiriusXM Radio’s “Inside College Basketball.”


As the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, Randle 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. Randle was also named the USBWA’s Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week.

Randle, a 6-9 freshman from Dallas, Texas, averaged 16.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in conference wins over Ole Miss and LSU. He began the week last Tuesday by notching his 14th double-double of the season with 25 points and 13 rebounds at Ole Miss. Randle shot 13-14 from the free-throw line and scored six of UK’s final 11 points to help preserve the 84-70 victory. On Saturday, he then helped lead the Cats in dramatic fashion at home in a 77-76 overtime win against LSU. He hit the game-winning put back with 3.9 seconds remaining in overtime en route to an eight-point, 15-rebound performance.

This is the fifth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-season.

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.

Oscar Robertson TrophyAt the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at theDevon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Awardwill also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

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 Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 33rd season, bigger and better in 2013-14. Blue Ribbon – long-known as “The Bible of College Basketball” – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit

2013-14 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
• Week of Dec. 8: Dustin Hogue, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Dec. 15: Marcus Paige, North Carolina (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week of Dec. 22: Aaric Murray, Texas Southern (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
• Week of Dec. 29: DeAndre Kane, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 5: Willis Hall, College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic Association)
• Week of Jan. 12: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Big East Conference)
• Week of Jan. 19: Naadir Tharpe, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 26: Nik Stauskas, Michigan (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Feb. 2: Drew Crawford, Northwestern (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Feb. 9: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Feb. 16: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Big East Conference)
• Week of Feb. 23: Julius Randle, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)

Nate Robinson Autographs Baby

July is crazy busy. So busy with live AAU events and Summer League that it’s not always easy to stop and put together a post. So here’s some stuff that matters (or is just dumb, or interesting) from the notebook for today.


Kyle Wiltjer is headed to Gonzaga. After announcing last month that he was leaving the Kentucky Wildcats, there hasn’t been too much in the way of news, but now Wiltjer has found his next basketball home.


The Fayetteville Flight ABA team, arguably one of the more successful ABA teams, is holding their annual mini-camp on August 17th.


Best story of the day is that Nate Robinson is willing to autograph just about anything, even a baby.


In perhaps a telling sign as to how worried the NCAA is about having to pay their employees, stemming from a current lawsuit against them brought by former players, they have stopped EA Sports from putting their logo on their collegiate basketball game. Of course, EA can still make a game with college programs because the licensing of the colleges is not owned by the NCAA.


Keith Olbermann is coming back to ESPN, this time to host a late night program. On the conference call announcing the move, ESPN suits and Olbermann both talked about trying to create the ‘must watch’ television that ESPN was built on. They talked about the contentious breakup that led to Olbermann’s original departure and about how he doesn’t want that to be the end of his story with ESPN. These are good goals, and the type of goals that the network and it’s talent should be shooting for. But the ESPN that Olbermann returns to is very different than the one he left in 1997. See, even though Disney owned ABC, which owned ESPN, the influence of Disney on ESPN didn’t officially get under way until 1996, about a year before Olbermann left. Since he’s been gone, Disney has completely revamped ESPN – first by merging graphics, hosts and executives between ABC Sports and ESPN, then in 2006 closing down ABC Sports entirely. The ESPN of today is much different – a turnstile of mostly nameless talking heads with little soul or personality, nobody watches SportsCenter the way they used to. If Olbermann is going to succeed, he’s either going to have to bring back some of the old ESPN magic or find a new way to make the vanilla programming style of Disney’s ESPN work.


The Charlotte Hornets held a name-change tribute party that people thought was lame but later turned out pretty okay. I’m glad the Hornets name is coming back to Charlotte, but the team isn’t losing because of the name.


Finally, we all know by now that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are headed to play for the Brooklyn Nets. But the back story is that when Paul Piece knew he was going to be traded he talked Garnett into coming along.


Have a nice weekend and follow us on Twitter @bball_elite

By James Blackburn

Doron Lamb

Team Report/ Game Notes

Kentucky made an early season trip down to Chapel Hill to take on the struggling UNC Tar Heels. The game was tight throughout and, in my opinion, was one of the best games of this young college basketball season so far. Carolina played well and got the big win 75-73. It will be interesting to see how Kentucky bounces back after this early let down and to see how they can cope after losing 5 players last season to the NBA. Here are a few notes, observations, and thoughts from Kentucky.

  • Kentucky had serious foul trouble this game- Knight, Jones, Harrellson, and Vargas fouled out.
  • Kentucky does not have a lot of depth, especially at the forward and center positions.
  • Kentucky really needs an interior presence- they are lacking a true shot blocker. Terrence Jones is a solid defender and shot blocker, but is only 6’8”. In order to make a deep run in March, Kentucky really needs Enes Kanter to become eligible. (Note- Kentucky requested reexamination of his eligibility on Friday)
  • Kentucky is wishing Daniel Orton would have stayed around for another year- and after watching Orton this summer in Orlando and his struggles, I am sure Orton is thinking the same thing.
  • Kentucky is a good shooting team- better than last season.
  • Kentucky spreads the court well and has excellent spacing to run the DD motion offense.
  • Kentucky does a good job of penetrating and kicking for open shots. They are also very dangerous in transition.

Scouting Reports

Doron Lamb, 6’4”, G, Kentucky

Lamb had one of his best games of this year and continues to excel in all areas. He is true PG with excellent vision, good ball handling abilities and a good assist/TO ratio. He is a smart PG who always seems to make the right decision. He takes good shots and does not force the issue. He is a good floor general and makes a lot of good decisions and reads that don’t show up in the box score. He plays under control and is very poised. He is also an excellent shooter and a good rebounder. He is a good P/R player (especially w/ Jones) and that should translate to the L. He is not the most athletic or the quickest player but his good should translate to the NBA with out any problems. The question is how long does he stay at Kentucky, considering the history of young PG’s leaving Coach Cal for the NBA and excelling ( Rose, Evans, Wall).

Brandon Knight, 6’3”, G, Kentucky

Good scorer and a good shooter w/ 3 pt. range. Solid outing from the high-ranking freshman today, but fouled out late in the second half. Very quick first step.

Terrence Jones, 6’8”, F, Kentucky

Not a great game today from Jones, showed flashes of brilliance, but was limited because of foul trouble. Jones is a strong, athletic lefty, who has a good face up game with the ability to shoot the midrange or pump fake and put the ball on the floor and get to the basket, where he finishes strong. He has a smooth looking jumper and has a good FT stroke. He needs to do a better job recognizing double teams and needs to become a better passer. He also tends to force the issue sometimes and gets in trouble, which is natural for most freshmen. He is explosive going left, but struggles when going right. He is NBA ready right now, and should be picked no later than #10 in the upcoming NBA draft. If he continues to play well, he could easily find his way into the top 5 next season. His game is meant for the NBA, and he excels in P/R and Pick and Pop situations.

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