Meeks finalist for Oscar Robertson award

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has announced finalists for the 2009 Oscar Robertson Trophy, to be presented to the association's national player of the year.

Teammates Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson of North Carolina are among the 15 players selected as finalists. Hansbrough, among three senior finalists, was the 2008 Oscar Robertson Trophy winner, yet no player has won back-to-back USBWA Player of the Year awards since Virginia's Ralph Sampson won three straight from 1981-83.

The presentation of this year's award will take place on Friday, April 3 at the USBWA's annual awards breakfast at the downtown Detroit Athletic Club in conjunction with the Men's Final Four. The breakfast will also honor the winner of the Henry Iba Award, the association's coach of the year, as well as the 1979 Michigan State national championship team that was led by Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the association, which consists of nearly 800 journalists. The ballot will be distributed to the membership on Mon., March 2.

The following players are finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy:

Pos. No. Player, School Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
F 45 DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh 6-7 265 So. Pittsburgh, Pa.
G 4 Sherron Collins, Kansas 5-11 200 Jr. Chicago, Ill.
F 33 Dante Cunningham, Villanova 6-8 230 Sr. Silver Spring, Md.
G 30 Stephen Curry, Davidson 6-3 185 Jr. Charlotte, N.C.
G 12 Tyreke Evans, Memphis 6-6 219 Fr. Chester, Pa.
F 23 Blake Griffin, Oklahoma 6-10 251 So. Oklahoma City, Okla.
F 50 Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina 6-9 250 Sr. Poplar Bluff, Mo.
F 44 Luke Harangody, Notre Dame 6-8 255 Jr. Schererville, Ind.
G 13 James Harden, Arizona State 6-5 218 So. Los Angeles, Calif.
G 5 Ty Lawson, North Carolina 5-11 195 Jr. Clinton, Md.
G 22 Jerel McNeal, Marquette 6-3 200 Sr. Chicago, Ill.
G 23 Jodie Meeks, Kentucky 6-4 208 Jr. Norcross, Ga.
C 34 Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut 7-3 263 Jr. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
G 0 Jeff Teague, Wake Forest 6-2 180 So. Indianapolis, Ind.
G/F 21 Evan Turner, Ohio State 6-7 205 So. Chicago, Ill.

The Oscar Robertson Trophy is awarded to the USBWA's Player of the Year. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its player of the year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.

Finalists for the Henry Iba Award will be announced on Monday. The award has also been presented since 1959 and is named for the legendary Oklahoma State coach.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its awards, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-421-0339.

Meeks currently leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks fifth in the country in scoring with 25.1 ppg, while shooting 46.8 percent from the field, including 43.0 percent from three-point range. The 6-4 junior is also shooting 89.6 percent from the free throw line. His three-point percentage ranks seventh nationally while his free throw percentage ranks eighth in the country.


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