The Info List - UPI College Basketball Player Of The Year

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The UPI College Basketball Player of the Year was an annual basketball award given to the best men's basketball player in NCAA Division I competition. The award was first given following the 1954–55 season and was discontinued following the 1995–96 season. It was given by United Press International (UPI), a news agency in the United States that rivaled the Associated Press but began to decline with the advent of television news. Five players—Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, Lew Alcindor[a], Bill Walton and Ralph Sampson—won the award multiple times. Of these five, only Robertson, Walton and Sampson were three-time UPI Players of the Year. UCLA had the most all-time winners with six. Ohio State was second with four winners, while Cincinnati and Virginia were tied for third with three winners apiece. Five other schools had two winners and sixteen schools had only one UPI Player of the Year. Eight of the winners were sophomores, seven were juniors, and the remaining 27 were seniors. No freshman was ever presented the award.


1 Key 2 Winners 3 Winners by school 4 Footnotes 5 References


Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been awarded the Player of the Year award at that point


Bill Russell won the award in 1956.

Bill Bradley (42) won the award in 1965.

Bill Walton won the award three times from 1972–74.

Michael Jordan won the award in 1984.

David Robinson won the award in 1987.

Ray Allen was the final recipient of the award, winning it in 1996.

Season Player School Position Class

1954–55 Gola, TomTom Gola La Salle Forward 4 !Senior

1955–56 Russell, BillBill Russell San Francisco Center 4 !Senior

1956–57 Forte, ChetChet Forte Columbia Point guard 4 !Senior

1957–58 Robertson, OscarOscar Robertson Cincinnati Point guard 2 !Sophomore

1958–59 Robertson, OscarOscar Robertson (2) Cincinnati Point guard 3 !Junior

1959–60 Robertson, OscarOscar Robertson (3) Cincinnati Point guard 4 !Senior

1960–61 Lucas, JerryJerry Lucas Ohio State Forward / Center 3 !Junior

1961–62 Lucas, JerryJerry Lucas (2) Ohio State Forward / Center 4 !Senior

1962–63 Heyman, ArtArt Heyman Duke Guard / Forward 4 !Senior

1963–64 Bradds, GaryGary Bradds Ohio State Forward 4 !Senior

1964–65 Bradley, BillBill Bradley Princeton Small forward / Shooting guard 4 !Senior

1965–66 Russell, CazzieCazzie Russell Michigan Shooting guard 4 !Senior

1966–67 Alcindor, LewLew Alcindor[a] UCLA Center 2 !Sophomore

1967–68 Hayes, ElvinElvin Hayes Houston Forward / Center 4 !Senior

1968–69 Alcindor, LewLew Alcindor[a] (2) UCLA Center 4 !Senior

1969–70 Maravich, PetePete Maravich LSU Guard 4 !Senior

1970–71 Carr, AustinAustin Carr Notre Dame Guard 4 !Senior

1971–72 Walton, BillBill Walton UCLA Center 2 !Sophomore

1972–73 Walton, BillBill Walton (2) UCLA Center 3 !Junior

1973–74 Walton, BillBill Walton (3) UCLA Center 4 !Senior

1974–75 Thompson, DavidDavid Thompson NC State Shooting guard / Small forward 4 !Senior

1975–76 May, ScottScott May Indiana Forward 4 !Senior

1976–77 Johnson, MarquesMarques Johnson UCLA Guard / Forward 4 !Senior

1977–78 Lee, ButchButch Lee Marquette Point guard 4 !Senior

1978–79 Bird, LarryLarry Bird Indiana State Small forward 4 !Senior

1979–80 Aguirre, MarkMark Aguirre DePaul Small forward 2 !Sophomore

1980–81 Sampson, RalphRalph Sampson Virginia Center 2 !Sophomore

1981–82 Sampson, RalphRalph Sampson (2) Virginia Center 3 !Junior

1982–83 Sampson, RalphRalph Sampson (3) Virginia Center 4 !Senior

1983–84 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan North Carolina Shooting guard 3 !Junior

1984–85 Mullin, ChrisChris Mullin St. John's Small forward / Shooting guard 4 !Senior

1985–86 Berry, WalterWalter Berry St. John's Power forward 4 !Senior

1986–87 Robinson, DavidDavid Robinson Navy Center 4 !Senior

1987–88 Hawkins, HerseyHersey Hawkins Bradley Shooting guard 4 !Senior

1988–89 Ferry, DannyDanny Ferry Duke Power forward / Center 4 !Senior

1989–90 Simmons, LionelLionel Simmons La Salle Small forward 4 !Senior

1990–91 O'Neal, ShaquilleShaquille O'Neal LSU Center 2 !Sophomore

1991–92 Jackson, JimJim Jackson Ohio State Shooting guard 3 !Junior

1992–93 Cheaney, CalbertCalbert Cheaney Indiana Small forward 4 !Senior

1993–94 Robinson, GlennGlenn Robinson Purdue Small forward / Power forward 2 !Sophomore

1994–95 Smith, JoeJoe Smith Maryland Center 2 !Sophomore

1995–96 Allen, RayRay Allen Connecticut Shooting guard 3 !Junior

Winners by school[edit]

School Winners Years

UCLA 6 1967, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977

Ohio State 4 1961, 1962, 1964, 1992

Cincinnati 3 1958, 1959, 1960

Virginia 3 1981, 1982, 1983

Duke 2 1963, 1989

Indiana 2 1976, 1993

La Salle 2 1955, 1990

LSU 2 1970, 1991

St. John's 2 1985, 1986

Bradley 1 1988

Columbia 1 1957

Connecticut 1 1996

DePaul 1 1980

Houston 1 1968

Indiana State 1 1979

Marquette 1 1978

Maryland 1 1995

Michigan 1 1966

Navy 1 1987

NC State 1 1975

North Carolina 1 1984

Notre Dame 1 1971

Princeton 1 1965

Purdue 1 1994

San Francisco 1 1956


a Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971 after converting to Islam.[1][2]



"United Press International Player of the Year". AmericasBestOnline.com. Retrieved 12 April 2010.  "Men's College Basketball: Player of the Year Awards → United Press International". HickokSports.com. 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 


^ Associated Press (4 June 1971). "Call Me 'Kareem' says Lew Alcindor" (Google News Archive). The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 13 April 2010.  ^ "'Big O' Completes Bucks' Championship Run". NBA Encyclopedia Playoff Edition. National Basketball Association. 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 

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Men's college basketball awards (United States)

National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Women's college basketball awards

National players of the year

Naismith Trophy Wooden Award Adolph Rupp Trophy AP Player of the Year NABC Player of the Year Oscar Robertson Trophy Sporting News Player of the Year

Defunct – Helms Foundation Player of the Year UPI Player of the Year

Individual awards

Academic All-America of the Year All-Americans (by year) Bob Cousy Award (Point Guard) Jerry West Award (Shooting Guard) Julius Erving Award (Small Forward) Karl Malone Award (Power Forward) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (Center) Haggerty Award (NYC area) Lefty Driesell Award (Top Defender) Senior CLASS Award Lou Henson Award (Mid-Major Player of the Year) Lute Olson Award (Top Non-Freshman) Pete Newell Big Man Award NABC Defensive Player of the Year NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Robert V. Geasey Trophy (Big 5 Player of the Year) USBWA National Freshman of the Year

Defunct – Chip Hilton Award (player character) Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award (senior 6'0" or shorter)

Conference players of the year

America East American A-10 ACC ASUN Big 12 Big East Big Sky Big South Big Ten Big West CAA C-USA Horizon Ivy MAAC MAC MEAC MVC Mountain West NEC OVC Pac-12 Patriot SEC SoCon Southland Summit Sun Belt SWAC WCC WAC

Defunct – American South Big Eight East Coast Great Midwest Great West Metro Southwest

Head coach awards

Naismith Coach of the Year AP Coach of the Year Ben Jobe Award (Top Minority Coach) Henry Iba Award Hugh Durham Award (Mid-Major Coach of the Year) Jim Phelan Award (Major Conference Coach of the Year) NABC Coach of the Year Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award (Moral Character) Clair Bee Award (Coaching Character) Legends of Coaching (Lifetime)

Defunct – Adolph Rupp Cup UPI Coach of the Year

Conference coaches of the year

American ACC Big 12 CAA MVC NEC Pac-12

Division awards

NABC Players of the Year – Division II Division III NAIA Junior College NAIA Tournament MVP Clarence Gaines Award (Division II Coach of the Year)

Other awards

USBWA Most Courageous Award

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UPI College Basketball Player of the Year Award winners

1955: Gola 1956: B. Russell 1957: Forte 1958: Robertson 1959: Robertson 1960: Robertson 1961: Lucas 1962: Lucas 1963: Heyman 1964: Bradds 1965: Bradley 1966: C. Russell 1967: Alcindor 1968: Hayes 1969: Alcindor 1970: Maravich 1971: Carr 1972: Walton 1973: Walton 1974: Walton 1975: Thompson 1976: May 1977: Johnson 1978: Lee 1979: Bird 1980: Aguirre 1981: Sampson 1982: Sampson 1983: Sampson 1984: Jordan 1985: Mullin 1986: Berry 1987: D. Robinson 1988: Hawkins 1989: Ferry 1990: Simmons 1991: O'Neal 1992: Jackson 1993: Cheaney 1994: G. Robinson 1995: