Yesterday I joked on Twitter that the Big Sky Conference might be thinking about renaming its player of the week award for Damian Lillard, who has won it four of the last six weeks.
All he did last week was average 34 points, six rebounds and five assists while the Wildcats picked up two Big Sky Conference wins on the road, and he continues to lead the country in scoring, averaging 26.3 points per game.
Today, Weber State’s dynamo point guard picked up another honor, and this time, he’s going national, earning the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Oscar Robertson national player of the week award.
Lillard was also recently named to the Bob Cousy Award watchlist for top point guard in the country, and with the USBWA honor, he will also be added to the watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, given annually to the top player in college basketball.
Here’s the full release on Lillard’s weekly award from the USBWA:
ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Weber State guard Damian Lillard as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Jan. 8. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 21 this season.
As the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week, Lillard 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.
Lillard, a 6-3 junior from Oakland, Calif., averaged 34 points, six rebounds and five assists for the week. He scored 30 points with seven rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot in the Wildcats’ 79-71 win over Eastern Washington on Thursday. During the game, he scored his 1,500th career point.
Lillard followed that with 38 points, five assists and five rebounds an 88-81 victory over Portland State. Lillard scored 23 points in the first half, including a half-court 3-point shot at the buzzer to cut Portland State’s lead to 51-44. In the two games last week, he shot 47.5 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from 3-point range, and 94.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Lillard leads the nation in scoring with an average of 26.3 points per game and has been selected as the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week four times this season.
This is the third season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week is added to 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.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2012 Oscar Robertson Trophy will be announced and presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at the USBWA’s annual awards breakfast on Fri., March 30 in New Orleans, site of the 2012 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.