For the second time in as many days, Washington State’s Noah Williams has been recognized as the national player of the week in college basketball.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Associated named Williams its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week after his 72 points led the Cougars to wins over California and Stanford, securing the program’s first winning regular season since 2010-11.
On Monday, NCAA March Madness named Williams its National Player of the Week and the sophomore also collected Player of the Week honors from the Pac-12 Conference. ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale also selected Williams as his player of the week.
“It’s great, well-deserved obviously,” WSU coach Kyle Smith said of the recognition for Williams. “I can’t say I saw that coming, but not that I didn’t think Noah wasn’t a good player and wouldn’t play well. He’s got a great will to succeed and compete and he’s got one of the best traits, he’s not afraid to fail. He’ll take some chances and it was nice to see.
“The big challenge for us and for him is to handle the success, realize how you got there, what you have to do and I think he will. I think he’s bought in and it’s a process. He didn’t play well against Washington, then really turned it around against Cal, then really just willed us to victory on Saturday.”
Williams becomes the first WSU men’s player to earn the award, joining Robert Franks (2019) and Faisal Aden (2012). Charlisse Leger-Walker, WSU’s freshman sensation from New Zealand, won the USBWA’s top weekly honor earlier this season.
In wins over Cal and Stanford, Williams surpassed the weekend scoring record of 68 points set by Bennie Seltzer in 1993, and registered the program’s first 40-point game since Klay Thompson in 2011 when he hit that mark in the triple-overtime win over Stanford.