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January 31, 2013Kansas senior Jeff Withey and redshirt freshman Ben McLemore have been named to the 12-person Oscar Robertson Trophy National Player of the Year Midseason Watch List by the United States Basketball Writers Association of America (USBWA), the organization announced Thursday.
The USBWA also released its Wayman Tisdale Award National Freshman of the Year Watch List on Thursday and McLemore was among the 12 players named. The St. Louis, Mo., guard is the only player named to both watch lists. Kansas and Indiana are the only schools to have two players on the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year list.
"Ben and Jeff are having solid seasons to date and are in the position to have great years only if we continue to win in our league and play well," Kansas head coach Bill Self said.
Named to the Sporting News Mid-Season All-American team Jan. 15, McLemore leads Kansas in scoring at 16.1 points per game, which leads all Big 12 freshmen and ranks second overall in the conference. The Jan. 14 Big 12 Player of the Week and two-time conference rookie of the week, McLemore leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage (86.7) and is second in three-point field goal percentage (45.1). He has a team-high 37 three-pointers made and is second on the team with 24 steals. A Wooden Award Mid-Season Top 25 honoree, McLemore has five games with 20 or more points this in 2012-13, including a 33-point effort in Kansas' 97-89 overtime win against Iowa State.
If the season ended today, McLemore's 16.1 scoring average would break the Kansas freshman scoring average record of 14.6 points per game set by Jayhawk legend Danny Manning in 1985.
"Being named to both lists is pretty cool," McLemore said. "There is no way I could get these (honors) without my teammates and coaches. We have a lot of work to do to reach our goals of winning a conference title and doing well in the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments."
Withey leads Kansas in rebounding at 8.3 rebounds per game and has seven double-doubles this season. Both statistics rank third in the Big 12. The San Diego, Calif., center leads the league in blocked shots at 4.3 per game, which is third nationally. Also Wooden Award Mid-Season Top 25 and the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Withey is scoring 13.1 points per outing and his 86 blocked shots this season are more than six Big 12 teams.
Withey, who set the Big 12 and Kansas single-season blocked shot record last year with 140, including an NCAA Tournament-record 31, has 251 career blocked shots to date. He is seven away from the Kansas record of 258 held by Greg Ostertag (1992-95) and 13 from the Big 12 all-time record of 264 by Chris Mihm of Texas (1998-2000).
"I'm honored to be named and with Ben it's a reflection of how our team is doing more than what Ben and I are doing," Withey said.
No. 2/1 Kansas (19-1, 7-0) will host Oklahoma State (14-5, 4-3) on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 3 p.m. on the Big 12 Television Network. Kansas' 18-game winning streak leads NCAA Division I and its 33 game home-court winning streak is the second-longest nationally.
For a complete list of the midseason honorees go -
here and here