Two MW Hoopsters Named to Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – New Mexico senior forward Cameron Bairstow and San Diego State senior guard Xavier Thames are among the 23 individuals named to the 2014 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List, announced Thursday by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy. The Mountain West is one of eight conferences with multiple representatives on the list.

Bairstow, who has also been named to the midseason watch list for the Wooden Award, leads the Lobos with a 20.3 scoring average, while contributing 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. The Brisbane, Australia native is shooting at a 56.4 percent clip from the field.

Thames, a native of Sacramento, Calif., is averaging a team-high 16.9 points and 2.7 assists, to go with 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. He has converted 45.6 percent of his attempts from behind the arc and 81.1 percent from the free throw line.

The award will be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala, to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.

The watch list includes 12 seniors, one junior, four sophomores and six freshmen.

While these standout players are the leading contenders to be named to the USBWA's All-America Team and as finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all Division I players remain eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. The association will announce its 2014 All-America Team in mid-March. At that time, finalists will also be chosen for the player of the year. Once finalists are announced, the entire USBWA membership will vote for the winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

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.

2014 OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
Name Class Position Institution
Keith Appling Senior Guard Michigan State
CAMERON BAIRSTOW SENIOR FORWARD NEW MEXICO
Cleanthony Early Senior Forward Wichita State
Joel Embiid Freshman Center Kansas
Tyler Ennis Freshman Guard Syracuse
C.J. Fair Senior Forward Syracuse
Aaron Gordon Freshman Forward Arizona
Gary Harris Sophomore Guard Michigan State
Rodney Hood Sophomore Forward Duke
Nick Johnson Junior Guard Arizona
DeAndre Kane Senior Guard Arizona
Doug McDermott Senior Forward Creighton
Shabazz Napier Senior Guard Connecticut
Jabari Parker Freshman Forward Duke
Lamar Patterson Senior Guard/Forward Pittsburgh
Casey Prather Senior Forward Florida
Julius Randle Freshman Forward Kentucky
Marcus Smart Sophomore Guard Oklahoma State
Russ Smith Senior Guard Louisville
XAVIER THAMES SENIOR GUARD SAN DIEGO STATE
Fred Van Vleet Sophomore Guard Wichita State
Andrew Wiggins Freshman Guard Kansas
Chaz Williams Senior Guard Massachusetts