Tuesday, March 3, 2015

UK's Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns are Finalists for Wayman Tisdale Award

Kentucky's Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns have been selected as finalists for the 2015 Wayman Tisdale Award.

The award is presented annually by the USBWA to the top freshman in college basketball.

Here's a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Continuing a recent trend of prolific freshmen at the University of Kentucky, Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns have been selected as finalists for the 2015 Wayman Tisdale Award, presented annually by the United States Writers Basketball Association to the top freshman in college basketball.

Booker and Towns are two of 10 finalists for the award, which will be presented at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Booker leads the team in scoring at 11.1 points per game, including a team-high 12.0 points per game in Southeastern Conference contests. Booker has drained a team-leading 48 3-pointers on the season and knocked down at least two in 13 times. The 6-foot-6 guard ranks as the most effective shooter in the SEC this season, according to ShotAnalytics.com.

Towns is logging 9.3 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game. He leads the team with six double-doubles on the year, including charting four over the last seven games for UK. The Piscataway, N.J., native, who also appears on the Naismith Trophy Midseason 30 list, is connecting on 56.0 percent of his attempts from the floor and 78.8 percent from the foul line.

Combined, Booker (five) and Towns (three) have won eight SEC Freshman of the Week honors this season.

The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.

Former Wildcats John Wall (2010) and Anthony Davis (2012) are previous winners of the Wayman Tisdale Award.

The Wildcats are in the midst of the final week of the regular season. UK will travel to Georgia on Tuesday for a 9 p.m. ET tilt with the Bulldogs in its final road test of the season. The game is set to air live on ESPN.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.

Wayman Tisdale Award Finalists

James Blackmon Jr., Indiana
Devin Booker, Kentucky
Stanley Johnson, Arizona
Tyus Jones, Duke
Jahlil Okafor, Duke
Kelly Oubre Jr., Kansas
D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State
Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
Melo Trimble, Maryland
Justise Winslow, Duke

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