Andrew Wiggins dunks on a breakaway versus Iowa State. Wiggins scored 29 points in the game on Jan. 29, 2014. (Photo: KU Athletics/Twitter)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Kansas freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid have been named finalists for national awards the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) announced Thursday.
Wiggins was selected as one of 15 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, which is the USBWA's National Player of the Year award. Additionally, he and Embiid are among the six finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Award recognizing the organization's National Freshman of the Year.
Wiggins leads Kansas with a 16.3 scoring average, the best among Big 12 freshmen and ninth overall in the conference. The Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, guard has made 35 threes this season and is the team leader with 29 steals. Wiggins' 5.8 rebound average is third on the team and 18th in the conference. A gifted shooter, Wiggins also ranks among the Big 12 leaders in field goal percentage (11th at 44.8) and free throw percentage (ninth at 75.9). He is a two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and was the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week on Jan. 28.
Embiid is coming off his seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds against Oklahoma (2/24). The Yaoundé, Cameroon, center has broken the KU freshman record for blocked shots, currently at 71, and his 2.6 blocked shots per game are second in the league. Embiid leads KU with 7.9 rebounds per game, which ranks fifth in the Big 12. A two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week (1/21), Embiid is shooting 62.4 percent from the field (which would lead the league if he made 5.0 per game) and averages 11.1 points per game.
No. 5/6 Kansas (22-6, 13-2) has won at least a share of the 2013-14 Big 12 Conference regular-season title, its 10th-straight, 14th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 57th overall. The Jayhawks will travel to Oklahoma State (18-10, 6-9) Saturday, at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
For a complete list of finalists go to: http://www.sportswriters.net/usbwa/news/2014/awards140227.html