Kansas’ duo of Joel Embiid and Naadir Tharpe picked up national honors from the USBWA following the Jayhawk’s back-to-back wins over nationally ranked teams. Embiid was named the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Week while Tharpe picked up the latest Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week honor.
Embiid, a 7-0 center from Yaounde, Cameroon, helped lead the Jayhawks to two conference wins over ranked opponents, averaging 14.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.5 blocks. He is the second straight Kansas freshman – and third straight Big 12 player – to earn the USBWA’s weekly award, following teammate Wayne Selden Jr. and Kansas State’s Marcus Foster.
Embiid started the week with a dominant second half in a 77-70 win at Iowa State, going for 16 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Up next was a showdown with Oklahoma State, widely considered Kansas’ biggest competition for the Big 12 title. He finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks, shooting 5-for-6 from the field in leading the Jayhawks to the 80-78 win.
Including last night’s win vs. Baylor, Embiid is now averaging 11.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, while shooting 67.9 percent from the field this season.
As the Big 12 Conferennce Player of the Week, Tharpe 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.
Tharpe, a 5-11 junior from Worcester, Mass., led the Jayhawks to conference wins at No. 8 Iowa State and No. 9 Oklahoma State. In the wins that lifted Kansas to No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25, Tharpe averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds while shooting a sizzling 82.4 percent from the field. He started the week with a career-high 23 points in the 77-70 win at Iowa State on 7-of-9 shooting before adding 21 points against in the 80-78 win vs. the Cowboys, making 7-of-8 shots from the field. Tharpe was 6-of-8 (.750) from three-point range during the week and connected on 9-of-10 (.900) from the free-throw line.
2013-14 WAYMAN TISDALE NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Week of Dec. 8: Chris Perry, USF (American Athletic Conference)
Week of Dec. 15: Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference)
Week of Dec. 22: Jabari Parker, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Week of Dec. 29: James Young, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
Week of Jan. 5: Marcus Foster, Kansas State (Big 12 Conference)
Week of Jan. 12: Wayne Selden, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
Week of Jan. 19: Joel Embiid, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
2013-14 OSCAR ROBERTSON NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week of Dec. 8: Dustin Hogue, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
Week of Dec. 15: Marcus Paige, North Carolina (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Week of Dec. 22: Aaric Murray, Texas Southern (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
Week of Dec. 29: DeAndre Kane, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
Week of Jan. 5: Willis Hall, College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic Association)
Week of Jan. 12: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Big East Conference)
Week of Jan. 19: Naadir Tharpe, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)