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OU basketball: Trae Young takes home Wayman Tisdale Award for college basketball’s best freshman

Oklahoma guard Trae Young celebrates after a fast-break basket against Northwestern during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Tyler Drabek)
OU basketball: Trae Young takes home Wayman Tisdale Award for college basketball’s best freshman

This morning, the United States Basketball Writers Association named Oklahoma freshman point guard Trae Young as their recipient for the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award.

Young is the only player in college basketball history to lead the country in scoring and assists at 27.5 points per game and 8.9 assists per game. Release:

Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young has been selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to receive the 2018 Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award, the organization announced Wednesday.

Named after the late Wayman Tisdale in 2011, the USBWA has been recognizing a national freshman of the year since 1989. By receiving the honor, Young joins a prestigious list of past winners that includes Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.

Young is the first Sooner to win the award now named after an Oklahoma legend. Tisdale was the first freshman to receive first-team All-America honors from the USBWA in 1983 following a prolific rookie campaign with averages of 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. Tisdale’s career included three years at Oklahoma, a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team and 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997. Tisdale passed away in 2009 following a courageous battle against cancer.

A 6-2 guard from Norman, Young leads the nation in scoring (27.5 points per game) and assists (8.9). No player in recorded NCAA history has finished a season leading the country in both scoring and assists.

If the season ended today, Young’s averages for both points (27.5) and assists (8.9) would be the highest by any player in Big 12 history.

Young is the first major-conference player in NCAA Division I history to total 800 points and 250 assists in the same season. His 826 points are the most ever scored in a regular season by a Big 12 player. He is just the second player from a major conference to reach 800 points during the regular season in the past 20 years, joining JJ Redick of Duke (833 in 2005-06). Young is also the only freshman in Division I basketball to score 800 points in a regular season during the Big 12 era.

The freshman is putting up his scoring numbers while passing out a nation-leading 267 assists. Young’s 267 dimes rank fifth for most by a freshman in NCAA history – 21 shy of the NCAA record (288) set by Duke’s Bobby Hurley in 1989-90. Young is five assists shy of tying of the Big 12’s freshman assists record, set by T.J. Ford of Texas (273 in 2001-02).

Young owns the Oklahoma freshman records for points (826), assists (267), 3-pointers (110) and made foul shots (226). He claimed the Sooners’ freshman scoring title last week by surpassing Tisdale’s 810 points from the 1982-83 season.

The guard isn’t just breaking school and conference records, he’s also tied one of the most impressive single-game records in college hoops history. By dishing out 22 assists against Northwestern State on Dec. 19, he tied the NCAA record for most assists in a game (assists became official in 1983-84) while breaking both Oklahoma and Big 12 records (both were 18 assists).

Bringing home OU’s first Freshman of the Year honor adds to a growing list of national recognitions. In the past week, Young was also named a Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year finalist, a Naismith Trophy semifinalist and selected for the national ballot for the Wooden Award. On Sunday, he was chosen as the Big 12 Conference’s Freshman of the Year and was a unanimous selection for the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Newcomer Team.

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