March 30, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma sophomore sensation Blake Griffin had been considered the frontrunner for men's basketball national player of the year honors for most of the season and when voting came for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, members of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association left no doubt who their choice was for the best college player in the nation.
The 6-10, 251-pound Griffin was a unanimous choice by voters in all nine geographical districts of the USBWA to give the University of Oklahoma the school's first ever Oscar Robertson Trophy winner. He was chosen from a group of 15 finalists.
Griffin led the Sooners to a 30-6 season -- their fifth 30-win campaign -- and to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight before losing to No. 1 seed North Carolina. The forward finished the season by averaging 22.7 points (highest OU average in 14 seasons), a school-record and nation-leading 14.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists (most among Big 12 Conference player standing taller than 6-foot-5). He had 15 games this year with at least three assists.
Griffin set school and Big 12 records with his .654 field goal mark and his 30 double-doubles on the year. His 14 games of at least 20 points and 15 rebounds doubled the previous Big 12 record of seven. He also recorded the only 40-point, 20-rebound effort in Big 12 history with his 40 points and 23 boards against Texas Tech Feb. 14.
Over OU's four NCAA Tournament games, Griffin averaged 28.5 points, 15.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting .780 from the field (46-for-59).
The Oscar Robertson Trophy will be presented by Oscar Robertson on Friday, April 3, at the USBWA's annual awards breakfast at the downtown Detroit Athletic Club in conjunction with the Men's Final Four. The breakfast will also honor Kansas coach Bill Self, winner of the Henry Iba Award as the association's coach of the year, as well as the 1979 Michigan State national championship team that was led by Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo will also receive the USBWA's Good Guy Award.
The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the association, which consists of nearly 800 journalists. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its player of the year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.