ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected 23 outstanding players, including UConn Huskies senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) for its 2014 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List. Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, awarded to the national player of the year.

Oscar Robertson TrophyNapier leads the 15-4 Huskies in scoring (17.4), rebounding (6.2), assists (5.9), steals (1.9) and minutes played (34.5). He has twice been named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week, and he has been on the league's weekly Honor Roll six times. Wednesday, Napier was named to the Midseason Watch List for the John R. Wooden Award and he is on the watch lists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award, the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, and the Naismith Trophy.

The Oscar Robertson Trophy is to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.

Creighton's Doug McDermott, a first-team USBWA All-American last season, is also on the list, while teammates from six different schools – Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Syracuse and Wichita State – are also lauded. Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, the 2013 Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year and a second-team USBWA All-American a season ago, is also featured. Overall, 10 conferences are represented, led by the Atlantic Coast Conference with five players and the Big 12 Conference with four.

The watch list includes 12 seniors to go with one junior, four sophomores and six freshmen.

While these standout players are the leading contenders to be named to the USBWA's All-America Team and as finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all Division I players remain eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. The association will announce its 2014 All-America Team in mid-March. At that time, finalists will also be chosen for the player of the year. Once finalists are announced, the entire USBWA membership will vote for the winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

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.

Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List

Keith Appling, Michigan State

Gary Harris, Michigan State

Cleanthony Early, Wichita State

Fred Van Vleet, Wichita State

Joel Embiid, Kansas

Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

C.J. Fair, Syracuse

Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Nick Johnson, Arizona

Rodney Hood, Duke

Jabari Parker, Duke

Cameron Bairstow, New Mexico

DeAndre Kane, Iowa State

Doug McDermott, Creighton

Shabazz Napier, Connecticut

Lamar Patterson, Pittsburgh

Casey Prather, Florida

Julius Randle, Kentucky

Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Russ Smith, Louisville

Xavier Thames, San Diego State

Chaz Williams, Massachusetts

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