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Three Men's Basketball Players Named USBWA Award Finalists
March 04, 2013
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Kansas standouts Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey along with Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart have been named finalists for the 2013 Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Trophy presented by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). McLemore and Smart are also two of eight finalists for the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award, the USBWA announced.

McLemore has three games of 30 or more points this year, all against Big 12 competition, and his 36 points versus West Virginia set the Kansas freshman record held by Jayhawk legend Danny Manning who had 35 points against Oklahoma State in 1985. Withey is the Kansas and Big 12 Conference all-time blocked shots leader with 281. Earlier this season, he recorded the second official triple-double in school history with 16 points, 12 rebounds and a school and Big 12-record 12 blocked shots against San Jose State. He had nine blocked shots against West Virginia, which is one of only 16 performances this season of nine or more blocked shots in NCAA Division I - three of which belong to Withey. Smart leads the Big 12 in steals with 82 (2.9 spg) and ranks among the top 20 in six different statistical categories. He needs eight thefts to break the Big 12 single-season freshman record for steals.

The recipients of both awards will be announced on Friday, April 5, at the Final Four in Atlanta, Ga. They will then be formally presented their awards at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on Monday, April 15, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award, named after the former Oklahoma State Hall of Fame coach, will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.

Kansas and Indiana are the only schools with two listed among the 14 finalists for the 2013 Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Trophy presented by Aflac.

Members of the association's board of directors chose the finalists and the entire 900-member USBWA will vote on the awards as well as the annual All-America and All-District teams. The recipients are to be announced on Friday, April 5 in Atlanta at a 8:15 a.m. CT press conference and then formally presented at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on Mon., April 15 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.

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