Redick & Morrison Split USBWA POY Honor

ST. LOUIS - For the first time in the award's 50 year history, The United States Basketball Writers Association selected co-players of the year in college basketball as Duke's J.J. Redick and Gonzaga's Adam Morrision split the award.

Morrison and Redick are the nation's top two NCAA Division I scorers and will be presented with the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year trophy during a college basketball awards ceremony at Conseco Fieldhouse Friday in Indianapolis, site of the 2006 Final Four.

"About once in a generation, we see a situation where there are two extraordinary players who separate themseleves from the rest of college basketball and clearly stand together as the best in the game," said USBWA President Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"It happened in 1979 with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and the USBWA feels it has happened again with Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick. Our orginazation has never voted for co-players of the year but on this, the 50th anniversary of the USBWA, it seems entirely appropriate to break the precedent in order to honor two equally deserving young men."

Both players were unanimous selections to the USBWA All-America team last week. The USBWA player of the year player of the year award is the only one named after a player. The legendary Oscar Robertson, selected as college player of the century in 2000, was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.

Redick becomes the fourth Duke player to win the award since 1999 and seventh overall. Jason Williams won in 2002, Shane Battier in 2001, Elton Brand in 1999, Christian Laettner in 1992, Danny Ferry in 1989 and Art Heyman in 1963.

With Redick's honor, Duke has more players honored with the award than any other school and the second most total honorees. UCLA had six players win the award a total of nine times. North Carolina is next with three players honored three times while Cincinnati (two players) and Virginia (one player) had three total honorees, as well. All other ACC schools combined have had six players win the award a total of eight times.

Redick last week repeated as the Adolph Rupp national player of the year winner and was also named the Sporting News national player of the year on March 13, as well.

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