As the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week, Oliver was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week.
BIG NUMBERS IN BIG GAMES
Oliver, a 6-4 junior from Modesto, Calif., had a career-high 39 points in an 87-76 win over Louisiana Tech last Thursday that ended the Bulldogs' 10-game winning streak. He followed that up with 22 points in a 93-84 win against New Mexico State on Saturday. In both games, he played 38 minutes and had five assists.
For the week, Oliver shot 54.3 percent from the field (19-for-35) and was 19-for-20 from the free-throw line. He also averaged three rebounds and two steals in the two San Jose State wins. Oliver now has four straight 20-plus point efforts and the Spartans boast their best conference record (4-3) since 1999.
"It's a great honor - something to be proud of. There's no way I could have done it without the help of my team," says Oliver.
"(Last week) Coach (Nessman) said we had an opportunity that most people don't have to play the two top teams in the league. We could go to the bottom of the league or the top. Personally, in big games, I try to step up big. I stepped up and a lot of my teammates stepped up."
A NATIONAL STAGE
This is the first season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week is added to the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-season.
Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2010 Oscar Robertson Trophy will be announced and presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at the USBWA's annual awards breakfast on Fri., April 5 in Indianapolis, site of the 2010 NCAA Men's Final Four.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-421-0339.
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