2022 USBWA College Basketball Awards

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association annually honors the top players and coaches in the game. The Missouri Athletic Club is the host of the basketball awards banquet. The event features the presentation of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award (Women's Player of the Year), Oscar Robertson Award (Men's Player of the Year), Henry Iba Award (Coach of the Year), Women's Coach of the Year, Wayman Tisdale Award (Freshman of the Year) and Tamika Catchings Award (Women's Freshman of the Year).

Click on the tiles below to see videos with honorees and special guests.

Oscar Tshiebwe

The Kentucky Forward Awarded the Oscar Robertson Trophy
Kentucky junior forward Oscar Tshiebwe becomes the second player in Kentucky history to win the Oscar Robertson Trophy, joining Anthony Davis who won in 2012. Tshiebwe was a dominant force offensively and defensively. He averaged a double-double on the season, with a team-best 17.3 points and a nation-leading 15.3 rebounds per game. Tshiebwe was very efficient offensively, shooting 60% from the field. On the defensive end, he was the only major conference player averaging at least 1.5 blocked shots and 1.5 steals per game.

Tshiebwe grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo and didn’t play basketball until he was 14. While he has demonstrated a well-rounded game, Tshiebwe rebounds at an elite level. At 6’9”, 255 pounds and 6% body fat, plus a 7-foot-4 wingspan, he is wellsuited to physically dominate his opponents and be a force on the boards. Giving Tshiebwe a further edge is his relentless effort.

Tshiebwe averaged more rebounds per game (15.3) than any player has in at least the last 30 years and topped the nation in both offensive and defensive rebounding rate, per KenPom. His season this year will go down as one of the more impressive statistical seasons of the 2000s. He pulled down 20 rebounds against Duke in the team’s season opener, and later in the season grabbed 28 against Western Kentucky.

In addition to the Oscar Robertson Trophy, Tshiebwe has racked up the postseason honors. He was named the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Year, was also an All-SEC First Team selection and a member of the All-Defensive Team. He was also recognized as a First-Team All-American by the Associated Press, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and USA Today. Tshiebwe is the 56th player overall in Kentucky program history to earn All-America recognition.

Aliyah Boston

South Carolina’s Double-Double Machine Dominated

South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston was the most dominant women’s basketball player this year, putting together an eyeopening, historic season. The 6-foot-5 junior forward notched 27 consecutive double-doubles, the longest streak in the nation and the longest streak in SEC history. Along with her first-ever 20-20 game in three college seasons, Boston was the first player — male or female — to have 25 or more points, 20 or more boards and shoot better than 90% at the foul line since UCLA’s Bill Walton did it in 1972 Final Four against Louisville, according to Stats Perform.

Boston dominated SEC play in leading the Gamecocks to a 15-1 conference record. The two-way star is also regarded as one of the top defenders in the game. She captured both the SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Awards in voting by the league coaches. It was the third consecutive season that she earned the defensive honor.

The native of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, led South Carolina’s charge to the 2022 national championship. Boston delivered more dominating performances in March highlighted by 28 points, including all 13 for top-seeded South Carolina in the fourth
quarter, and 22 rebounds to send the Gamecocks to the Elite Eight with a 69-61 victory over North Carolina. Heading into the Final Four, she led South Carolina in points (16.8), rebounds (12.2) and blocks per game (2.5).

This season marks the second time Boston has been honored by the USBWA. In 2020, she won the Tamika Catchings Award as the Freshman of the Year. Tonight, she is adding the Ann Meyers Drysdale Player of the Year Award to her trophy case.

Tommy LLoyd

The Arizona Coach Claims the National Honor in His First Season

Over the past two decades, Gonzaga coach Mark Few has built his program into a national powerhouse. Playing an integral role in that success was Few’s assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, who developed a reputation as the best recruiter of overseas talent in the college game. Some of the international Gonzaga standouts that Lloyd helped recruit include Ronny Turiaf (France), Elias Harris (Germany), Domantis Sabonis (Lithuania) and Joel Ayayi (France).

Prior to the start of the 2020-21 season, the storied University of Arizona program hired Lloyd as head coach. Lloyd took over a Wildcats program that finished the 2020-21 season at 17-9, finishing fifth in the Pac-12. At the start of the season, the Associated Press left Arizona unranked in the AP Top 25 and projected that the men’s program would finish fourth in the Pac-12 conference.

Lloyd greatly exceeded expectations in his first season as a head coach as he guided the Wildcats to a 33-4 record, swept the Pac-12 regular-season and postseason titles and led his team to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He inherited a solid roster that he kept intact and then made it even better with the addition of a few transfers. Lloyd then put his own mark on the team, installing the offense he ran at Gonzaga and pushing the pace. The Wildcats took big strides increasing points per game from 75.4 the prior season to 84.7.

Lloyd put together one of the best starts to a coaching career in college basketball history. His 33 wins put him among the top 10 in NCAA history for a coach in his first year. To cap off the historic season, Lloyd is the 2022 Henry Iba Coach of the Year winner, the same award his old boss Mark Few won in 2017. He is the first coach in Arizona history to win the Iba Award.


Auburn’s Smith Named National Freshman of the Year
The 6-10 Sharpshooter has drawn comparisons to 2007 Tisdale Award winner Kevin Durant

A year ago, Jabari Smith was wrapping up his senior season of high school and preparing for college. The 6-foot-10 forward from Fayetteville, Ga., was the 4th ranked player in the high school class of 2021 and became the highest ranked recruit to ever sign with Auburn. Smith has made history again by becoming the first player in Auburn history to win the Wayman Tisdale Award as the National Freshman Player of the Year.

The Tigers’ diaper dandy averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds. With a dead-eye ability to shoot as evidenced by 42% from 3-point range and at his size, Smith has drawn comparisons to the 2007 Tisdale Award winner Kevin Durant. He is a versatile scorer, with the ability to pull up from anywhere and create his own shot at all three levels. Scouts project that he could be a top-three pick in the NBA draft.
Smith was Auburn’s leading scorer helping the Tigers go 28-6 overall and 15-3 in the Southeastern Conference. They went wire-towire in conference play to win the outright regular-season title, the program’s first outright league championship since 1999. In Auburn’s opening round victory in the NCAA Tournament, Smith led the way for the Tigers delivering a dominating 20 points and 14 rebounds.

The Tisdale Award caps off a season filled with accolades for the 18-year-old. Smith was named the SEC Freshman of the Week five times throughout the season, so it was no surprise he was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year. He also made the All-SEC first team. Smith also made his mark with several national awards including being named to USA Today’s All-American squad as a member of the second team, the Sporting News’ All-American second team and the USBWA’s All-American second team.

Aneesah Morrow

Morrow Captures Catchings Award
The DePaul Scoring Sensation is Nation’s Top Freshman

DePaul freshman Aneesah Morrow had no trouble adjusting to college basketball. She wasted no time at the next level, opening eyes in her collegiate debut with a 31-point performance, the most by a DePaul freshman in her collegiate debut. This would just be the beginning of a record-shattering freshman campaign.

In BIG EAST-only games, Morrow broke 11 conference records including rebounds in a season (305). She set a new overall single-game rebounding mark with 27 at Seton Hall and set a freshman single-game scoring record with 41 points at Creighton. She is the only player to ever win 13 BIG EAST Freshman of the Week awards and to sweep the Player of the Week and Freshman honors three times. Morrow also earned the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Week honor on five separate occasions.

The 6-foot, 1-inch power forward averaged 21.9 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. Morrow led the nation in field goals, rebounds, double-doubles, rebounds per game and offensive rebounds per game while also ranking third in points and sixth in steals. She had a remarkable streak of 23 consecutive games of delivering a double-double. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Morrow scored 28 points and grabbed 17 boards.

The scoring sensation also was a force on the glass as she entered the postseason as the nation’s leader in double-doubles (26), rebounds per game (14), total rebounds (434) and offensive rebounds per game (5.9). The first Blue Demon to ever win BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, she can now add another first to her resume. Morrow is the first player in DePaul history to win the Tamika Catchings Trophy awarded to the top freshman in the nation.

Dawn Staley

Twice as Nice for Staley
The Two-time Player of the Year, Captures Her Second USBWA Coach of the Year Award

Dawn Staley has made an unprecedented impact on college basketball. No one in the history of the game, has accomplished what she has as both a player and coach. As a player at the University of Virginia, Staley won the USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as national player of the year in 1991 and again in 1992. Now, as a coach at South Carolina, she has bee every bit as prolific. Staley is the 2022 USBWA Female Basketball Coach of the Year for the second time, after winning her first in 2020.

This year, Staley led South Carolina to a 15-1 conference record, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and the national championship. The Gamecocks dominated the SEC conference this season, leading to its third regular-season title in the past three years as she was named the conference’s coach of the year for the fifth time. Staley’s squad won all but three of the team’s 15 conference wins were by double-digits.

Catapulting South Carolina into the national spotlight, Staley has made the Gamecocks a mainstay in the battle for SEC and national championships. Under her leadership, the Gamecocks have reached many firsts – National Championship, NCAA Final Fours, No. 1 rankings, SEC regular-season and tournament titles, SEC Player of the Year, National Player of the Year, WNBA No. 1 Draft pick and No. 1 recruiting classes – to name the most notable.

Her 13 seasons at the helm for the Gamecocks include: two NCAA National Championships, four NCAA Final Fours in the last six tournaments (2015, 2017, 2021, 2022), and ranking in the AP Top 25 every week since Dec. 10, 2012, including 95 weeks in the top five, 25 weeks ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, including the first-ever final No. 1 ranking in program history (2019-20).


Contact Jim Wilson for more information