ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) has selected Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis as the men’s National Freshman of the Year in conjunction with the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award.
The Chicago, Ill., native was selected as a first-team All-America selection by the USBWA on Monday. He averaged 14.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game en route to leading the Wildcats to a No. 1 overall ranking in the NCAA Tournament and a perfect 16-0 record in Southeastern Conference action.
Davis is the second Kentucky player in three years to win the USBWA's National Freshman of the Year Award, joining John Wall, who won the award in 2010. Davis, the USBWA's District IV Player of the Year, is also a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, given to the National Player of the Year by the USBWA.
He has started all 34 games this season while shooting 64.2 percent from the field, which ranks as the second best in the nation. Davis also leads the nation in blocks (157). In 28 of the Wildcats' 34 games, he has scored in double figures while recording 17 double-doubles. The 17 double-double efforts rank as the second-highest total in a single season by a UK freshman.
The other four finalists for the award this season were Davis' teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Duke's Austin Rivers, Washington's Tony Wroten, and Indiana's Cody Zeller.
The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU's Chris Jackson was the recipient. Other previous winners of the award include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber. This season marks the second year the award has been named in Wayman Tisdale's honor.
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.