Vonleh On 2014 Integris Wayman Tisdale Award Midseason Watch List
January 24, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
ST. LOUIS (USBWA) - The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected nine outstanding first-year players for its 2014 Integris Wayman Tisdale Award Midseason Watch List. Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the national freshman of the year award.
Among those nine selected is Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh(Haverhill, Mass.). It marks the third straight season that IU has had a player named to the Tisdale Award Midseason Watch List (Zeller - 2012, Ferrell - 2013).
The award is to be presented to the national freshman of the year at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Oscar Robertson Trophy and 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.
Six of the nine players are also featured on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List as candidates for national player of the year. Teammates from Kansas (Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins) and Kentucky (Julius Randle and James Young) highlight the list. LSU's Jordan Mickey gives the Southeastern Conference three players to lead all conferences. The ACC and Big 12 each boast two players.
Syracuse's Tyler Ennis, Arizona's Aaron Gordon, Duke's Jabari Parker and Indiana's Noah Vonlehround out the list. Embiid, Ennis, Gordon, Parker, Randle and Wiggins were lauded yesterday among 23 players in the running for the Oscar Robertson Trophy.
Following is the complete watch list:
2014 WAYMAN TISDALE AWARD MIDSEASON WATCH LIST C Joel Embiid, Kansas 7-0 250 Fr. Yaounde, Cameroon G Tyler Ennis, Syracuse 6-2 180 Fr. Brampton, Ont. F Aaron Gordon, Arizona 6-9 225 Fr. San Jose, Calif. F Jordan Mickey, LSU 6-8 220 Fr. Dallas, Texas F Jabari Parker, Duke 6-8 235 Fr. Chicago, Ill. F Julius Randle, Kentucky 6-9 250 Fr. Dallas, Texas F Noah Vonleh, Indiana 6-10 240 Fr. Haverhill, Mass. G Andrew Wiggins, Kansas 6-8 200 Fr. Vaughan, Ont. G James Young, Kentucky 6-6 215 Fr. Rochester Hills, Mich.
By conference: SEC (3); ACC (2); Big 12 (2); Big Ten (1); Pac-12 (1).
The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU's Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart became the third winner of the Wayman Tisdale Award. Other notable previous winners of the national freshman of the year award include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.
This season, in a partnership with CBSSports.com and columnist Jeff Borzello, the USBWA has named a weekly Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week. Embiid, Young and Parker have all been selected as national freshmen of the week this season.
The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. The April 14 banquet will also honor Kansas coach Bill Self as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.
The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.
The Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation responsible for creating the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. Access Sports produces all events associated with the award, including the annual awards dinner. Proceeds from the activities affiliated with the award are used to support various worthy charitable causes, including providing opportunities for disadvantaged youth to participate in basketball leagues, clinics, and training throughout the state. In addition, Access Sports supports the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation which helps fund prosthetics for those who cannot afford the cost on their own and may not be covered by insurance.