Clemente Earns National Honor from USBWA
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Senior Denis Clemente was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week on Tuesday in an announcement by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Clemente, who was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week for the second time in his career on Monday, helped the Wildcats to a pair of road wins over Nebraska (76-57) and Iowa State (79-75) this past week. He averaged 26.5 points on 50 percent shooting (16-of-32), including 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from 3-point range, in the two wins with 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 36.0 minutes per game. He also went a combined 10-of-10 from the free throw line.
Clemente began the week by scoring a game-high 23 points in the Wildcats' first win at Nebraska since 2006. He went 7-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, with a team-tying five assists and three rebounds in 35 minutes of action. He then followed with his second career 30-point game in the Wildcats' fourth straight win at Iowa State on Saturday, connecting on 9-of-18 field goals, including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, with four rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes. He also went a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. It was Clemente's highest point total since tying the Big 12 record with 44 against Texas on Jan. 31, 2009, while his six 3-pointers matched his career-high, which was set in the performance against the Longhorns.
The USBWA's weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and is handed out each Tuesday throughout the season. Clemente was chosen for the honor by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week. This is the first season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. As the weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week, Clemente will be added to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List, which will be released at mid-season. It marks the second time in Clemente's career he has been named a National Player of the Week, as he named the ESPN.com National Player of the Week after his 44-point effort against Texas on Jan. 31, 2009.
A starter in all 23 games, Clemente has helped the Wildcats to their highest ranking in the AP poll since 1973 at No. 9 as well as their highest ranking in the Coaches' poll, also at No. 9, since USA Today took over ownership in 1991-92. He is averaging 15.7 points on 38.4 percent shooting, including 33.6 percent from 3-point range, with team highs in both assists (4.0) and minutes (33.7) per game.
No. 9/9 Kansas State (19-4, 6-3 Big 12) will have the week off before playing host to Colorado (11-12, 2-7 Big 12) on Saturday in the first of back-to-back home game at Bramlage Coliseum at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast regionally on the Big 12 Network as well as nationally on ESPN Full Court.