Kentucky freshman Julius Randle has been honored by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week and its Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week it was announced on Tuesday. It is the first time this season one player has been honored with both awards by the association during the same week.
Randle was named the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week after he led the Wildcats to a pair of victories this week. Randle averaged 16.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in wins over Ole Miss and LSU.
As the SEC’s Player of the Week, Randle 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.
Randle is the second Wildcat freshman to earn Wayman Tisdale weekly honors this season. James Young also captured the honor on Dec. 31 following his 18-point, 10-rebound performance in helping UK down then ranked No. 6 Louisville.
This is the fifth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list.
Randle began the week by notching his 14th double-double of the season with 25 points and 13 rebounds at Ole Miss. He now ranks 13th in program history with 14 double-doubles in a single year. The 6-9 forward ranks third among freshmen for double-doubles in a single season as both DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis tallied 20 during their freshman campaigns. It marked the seventh 20-10 game of his career.
Randle shot 13-14 from the free throw line against the Rebels and scored six of UK’s final 11 points to help preserve the victory. The 13 made free throws matches a career best tally for the freshman and is the most in a single game by any player in the John Calipari era. For the season he has totaled 148 made free throws which are a mark that ranks fourth among all UK freshmen in program history.
UK’s starting forward helped lead the Cats in dramatic fashion at home against LSU. He hit the game-winning put back with 3.9 second remaining in overtime en route to an eight-point, 15-rebound performance against the Tigers. The 15 boards was just one shy of matching a career high.
For the season, Randle has hauled in 278 rebounds which stand as the fourth most in UK freshman history. He has also poured in a team-high 425 points on the year. The 425 tallies are 12th among UK freshman in the record books.
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.
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 27 at home as UK welcomes Arkansas to Rupp Arena. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET and the game will air live on ESPN.