Jan. 24, 2012
ST. LOUIS- The U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) has selected Washington State guard Faisal Aden as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Jan. 22. 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 Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week, Aden 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.
A native of San Diego, Calif., Aden led the Cougars to a 2-0 record on the week as WSU defeated the league-leader twice as first-place Stanford game to town followed by first-place California. He started the week with a career-high 33 points against Stanford Thursday and 24 points against California Saturday. The Cougars were playing at home in Beasley Coliseum for the first time since hosting Western Oregon in Pullman Dec. 18.
In Thursday's game against Stanford, the 6-foot-4 guard had a big night. On top of his career-high 33 points, Aden added a season second-bets five rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Aden was 10-for-17 from the field and made a career-high 13 free throws, going a perfect 13-for-13 from the line. With his 33 points, Aden became the first Cougar not named Klay Thompson to reach the 30-point plateau since Taylor Rochestie scored 33 points against UCLA, Feb. 21, 2009. The 33 points also puts Aden in a tie for 37th in single-game points. It's also the most points scored by a Cougar against Stanford since Bennie Seltzer put up 36 against the Cardinal, Feb. 27, 1993.
Against California Sunday, Aden shot .750 from the field (9-12), with all his shot attempts coming from inside the 3-point arc, en route to 24 points. He went 6-for-7 from the free throw line and at one point extended his consecutive free throws made streak to 23.
Over the two games, Aden averaged 28.5 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game and added two assists and two steals. He shot .655 (19-for-29) from the field and .950 (19-for-20) from the free throw line. Aden has now reached the 20-point plateau four times this season and 10 times in his career and reached 30 points for the first time in his career.
This marks the first time a Washington State student-athlete has been honored as the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week as Aden is the only Pac-12 player to earn the award 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.