ST. LOUIS – University of Arizona men’s basketball student-athletes Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon were named finalists for major national awards on Thursday by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Johnson was named one of 15 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, while Gordon was named one of six finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Award.
Presented to the USBWA’s National Player of the Year, the Robertson Trophy winner will be announced on Friday, April 4, and the Tisdale Award winner as the National Freshman of the Year will be announced the following Monday.
Johnson is one of two Pac-12 players on the finalist list for the Robertson Trophy, and Gordon is the lone Pac-12 representative on the final list for the Tisdale Award.
Johnson has evolved into one of the nation’s top all-around players this season, leading Arizona in scoring at 16.2 points per game and ranking second on the team with averages of 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per contest. He is shooting career bests of 45.1 percent from the floor and 76.9 percent from the free throw line, averages a career-high 3.9 rebounds per game and has a 1.52 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Gilbert, Ariz., native has reached the 20-point mark a team-high eight times on the season, and became the 48th member of UA’s 1,000-point club in mid-January. He was the Most Outstanding Player at the NIT Season Tip-Off, and has also been named to midseason watch lists for the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy.
Arizona’s leading rebounder (7.7/game) and second-leading scorer (11.9/game), Gordon leads all Pac-12 freshmen with seven double-doubles. He is also the league’s leading freshman rebounder at 7.7 per outing and ranks fifth on the Wildcats’ freshman chart with 216 total rebounds this season.
Gordon either leads the Wildcats or ranks second on the team in seven different categories, and is shooting 48.9 percent from the field.
The San Jose, Calif., native was named USA Basketball 2013 Male Athlete of the Year in January in recognition of his efforts at the FIBA U19 World Championship that resulted in a gold medal for the U.S. squad and individual tournament Most Valuable Player accolades. Gordon was named to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament in November.
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