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Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel is among 12 players announced by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as a midseason candidate for the Wayman Tisdale Award, honoring the nation’s top freshman for the 2012-13 college basketball season on Thursday.
Noel leads the nation in blocks per game at 4.8. He ranks 14th in the country in steals (2.4) and 33rd in rebounding (9.3), leading the Wildcats in all three categories. The 6-10 freshman is also averaging 10.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Others named to the list are Jordan Adams, UCLA; Kyle Anderson, UCLA; Isaiah Austin, Baylor; Anthony Bennett, UNLV; Jahii Carson, Arizona State; Yogi Ferrell, Indiana; Ben McLemore, Kansas; Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA; Glenn Robinson III, Michigan; Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State; Nik Stauskas, Michigan.
Last season, Anthony Davis became the first Wildcat to win the USBWA’s Freshman of the Year award.
The USBWA has chosen a national Freshman of the Year since the 1988-89 season when LSU’s Chris Jackson was the recipient. This is the second year it is named for the late Wayman Tisdale who was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma.