The U.S. Basketball Writer's Association announced its watch lists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy (Player of the Year) and the Wayman Tisdale Award (Freshman of the Year) today, and there are a few familiar names included for the latter. Syracuse freshmen Kaleb Joseph and Chris McCullough are among the 22 players to keep an eye on early. No Orange player made the list for player of the year, which shouldn't surprise you at this juncture.
Given the conference's depth this season, the ACC loads up both lists. For player of the year, six ACC players find their names included: Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), Jahlil Okafor (Duke), Marcus Paige (North Carolina), Angel Rodriguez (Miami) and Justise Winslow (Duke). For freshman of the year, the conference saw seven names: Joseph, McCullough, Okafor and Winslow, plus Justin Jackson (North Carolina), Tyus Jones (Duke) and Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville).
Syracuse has seen one player named the Wayman Tisdale Award winner before. You might recall the accomplishments of one-time Orange-man Carmelo Anthony. The Orange have never had an Oscar Robertson Trophy winner.
Despite the lack of real heft to these nominations, it's still a cool accomplishment, so congratulations to both Joseph and McCullough for getting nods. Based on the early play of both Syracuse players, you'd think McCullough might have the inside track between the two, but a lot can change over the course of the season.