Kentucky guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray are on the midseason watch lists for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s national player of the year award and freshman of the year award, respectively.
Ulis is one of 20 midseason players on the watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, given annually to the men’s national player of the year. He’s one of only two players from the Southeastern Conference to make the cut.
Meanwhile Murray is one of 10 on the midseason watch list for the Wayman Tisdale Award, which goes to the top freshman in the game.
Both awards will be presented at the College Basketball Awards gala in Oklahoma City on April 11 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Access Sports, a non-profit organization committed to supporting various charitable causes, will serve as host for the gala. Funds from the gala are used to support youth basketball programs in Oklahoma that allow disadvantaged youth the opportunity to participate in leagues and training.
The USBWA, comprised of nearly 1,000 sports journalists covering college basketball for newspapers, magazines and websites, will select the recipients of the awards. This will be the first time the women’s college player of the year will be featured at the gala.
Ulis is enjoy a sensational season as one of the nation’s top point guards. The sophomore from Chicago is averaging 15.3 points while dishing out 6.0 assists per game, ranked second in the Southeastern Conference. He just recently surpassed 100 assists through 17 games played, becoming the sixth-fastest player in program history to reach the season mark.
With yet another 20-point performance, Ulis has scored 20 or more points in six out of his last eight games. Overall, he has seven games with 20 or more points and five or more assists in the same game, tied for the most in school history since 1972-73.
Only LSU’s Ben Simmons is averaging more points per game among the players on the midseason watch list for the Wayman Tisdale Award. At 17.8 points per game, Murary is on pace to finish as the most prolific scorer in the John Calipari era. Brandon Knight, in 2010-11, finished at 17.3 points per game.
Murray has scored in double figures in all but one game and in 17 straight contests. Only Knight (28 straight games) has posted a better consecutive double-digit scoring streak during the Calipari era. Murray has also hit a 3-pointer in every game this season, the first player in school history to make a trey in the first 19 games to start a college career.