2023 USBWA College Basketball Awards

The USBWA (United States Basketball Writers Association) held its annual basketball awards ceremony at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri, on Wednesday, April 12. The event brought together some of the most talented and accomplished basketball players and coaches from around the country, who were recognized for their outstanding performances and contributions to the sport. The ceremony featured several awards, including the Good Guy Award (Mike Brey), the Tamika Catchings Women's Freshman of the Year Award (Ta'Niya Latson, the Henry Iba Men's Coach of the Year Award (Shaka Smart), and the Men's Player of the Year Oscar Robertson Trophy (Zach Edey). Former NBA player, basketball legend and commentator Bill Walton served as the guest speaker at the banquet. The event was a celebration of excellence in basketball and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the award recipients.

Click below to see the recap video with honorees and special guests.

Mike Brey

The Collegiate Coach Awarded the Good Guy Award
Mike Brey is the 2023 recipient of the Good Guy Award presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) in recognition of his cooperation with members of the media in promoting college basketball. Throughout a distinguished 28-year head coaching career, Brey was among the most respected and well-liked
in the coaching business. Even after a loss, Matt Norlander of CBS Sports says Brey is one of the most “professional and easy-to interview coaches.”

Nicole Auerbach of USA Today said Brey is “particularly great during March because he understands that I am trying to find angles that have not been covered extensively and feels secure in helping the process. He is always up for one-on-one interviews outside of press conference settings and he also treats reporters
exactly the same win or lose, which is something I admire.”

Brey is not only known for his media relations skills but he has also been recognized as one of the best coaches in the game. In 2011, the USBWA voted him the winner of the Henry Iba Award as the national coach of the year.

Brey recently concluded a 23-season stint at Notre Dame, which ended with him as the winningest men’s basketball coach in school history. Over his time with the Irish, the team went 483-280 with 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, highlighted by back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 2015 and 2016.

In his first season as head coach, Brey led the Fighting Irish to the 2001 Big East West Division championship, establishing the program as one of the best in the conference. He steered Notre Dame into the top five of the final Big East conference standings eight times in 13 seasons, advancing to the semifinals six times. Brey is currently tied for fifth on the all-time Big East wins list.

In the 2013-14 season, Notre Dame moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference, as the Fighting Irish continued to dominate in the best basketball conference in the nation. In 2015, Notre Dame claimed the 2015 ACC Championship.

Prior to Notre Dame, Brey got his first head coaching job at Delaware in 1995. For five seasons he led the Blue Hens to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths and an NIT appearance. He began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski from 1987 through 1995.

Ta'Niya Latson

Record-Breaking Seminoles Guard is Nation's Top Freshman
After just one season, Florida State freshman Ta’Niya Latson has quickly proven to be a force in college basketball. The Miami native recorded one of the best freshman seasons in collegiate basketball history, earning the Seminoles a No. 7 seed in their 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament.

Latson’s accomplishments in college basketball make an impressive list, and it only keeps growing. Latson averaged 21.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in her first season, shooting 45.5 percent overall and 36.2 percent from a 3-point range. The FSU star is the first freshman ever to lead the ACC in scoring, setting the single-season scoring average record by a freshman in the conference with 659 total points. She also shot the second-most free throws made in a season at FSU with 85.9 percent from the free throw line.

Now retired FSU head coach Sue Semrau knew Latson could be a special player when she recruited her. “Ta’Niya is a dynamic player on both ends of the floor,” says Semrau of her playing style, something her teammates and fans love to experience.

This year alone, Latson has collected numerous awards and honors. After a record-breaking 10th ACC Rookie of the Week Award, she was named the 2023 ACC Rookie of the Year. She was also named National Freshman of the Week by the USBWA three times, named National Freshman of the Year by The Athletic, named to the 2023 All-ACC First Team and All-Freshman Team and is a WBCA Region Finalist. Tonight, Latson adds another trophy to her award collection as the USBWA presents her with the Tamika Catchings Award.

Shaka Smart

Marquette Coach Captures Henry Iba Award
In his second season as head coach at Marquette University, Shaka Smart led the Golden Eagles to their first Big East outright regular season title and tournament championship. Playing an integral role in MU’s success, the university saw one of the most successful seasons in its century-plus basketball history, winning a program best
29 games.

Before his career at MU, Smart was the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth (2009-15) and Texas (2015-21), leading both programs to eight NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2011, Smart guided VCU from the First Four to the Final Four. He has now led nine teams to the NCAA tournament. Smart has received much deserved
recognition for his coaching this season, including being honored as the Big East coach of the year.

Smart defeated the league’s expectations heading into his second season – the Golden Eagles were picked to finish ninth in the 11-team Big East. Instead, the team became one of the best offenses in the nation. MU went 17-3 in the conference to set a Big East record and won the outright title for the very first time. The
Golden Eagles also beat every team in the conference for the first time since joining the league in 2005. To cap off a historic season, Smart is honored with the 2023 Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award.

Zach Edey

Purdue's Dominant Big-Man Has Historic Season 
Purdue junior center Zach Edey becomes the second player in Purdue history to win the Oscar Robertson Trophy, joining Glenn Robinson who won in 1994. Edey had one of the most dominating seasons in college basketball history. He was named a consensus first-team All-American, after averaging 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists per game.

He became the first player in NCAA history (since blocks became an official NCAA stat) to record at least 750 points, 400 rebounds, 70 blocks and 50 assists in a season, ranking sixth nationally in scoring, second in rebounds, 19th in blocked shots and 21st in field goal percentage (.607), the only player in the NCAA database to rank in the top 25 of all four categories in the same season.

He finished the season ranking sixth on Purdue’s single-season chart for points (757), first in rebounds (438), fifth in field goals made (290), 14th in field goal percentage (.607), first in dunks (76) and second in double-doubles (27). He has scored in double-figures in 51 straight games, the longest streak in the country, and fourth-longest streak in school history.

The 7’4” center grew up in Toronto, Ontario playing hockey and baseball. He didn’t
start playing basketball until his sophomore year of high school. In his senior season, he competed at IMG Academy in Florida.

Edey has already won National Player of the Year honors by The Sporting News and Big Ten Player of the Year accolades after helping Purdue to a Big Ten regular-season title and a No. 1 national ranking for seven weeks. He also earned a spot on the Big Ten’s All-Defensive team.

Contact Jim Wilson for more information