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March 27, 2007Kevin Durant stepped on to the Frank Erwin Center floor against Alcorn State in the season opener with lofty expectations. Durant scored only 20 points and pulled down only six rebounds in the blowout win. Only 20 points and six rebounds in what is now looked back upon as a below average performance for the best player in college basketball.
Thirty-four games later, Durant walked off of the floor in Spokane in the Horns' final game of the year as the landslide favorite to take home several national player of the year honors. Several awards has turned into every award if the last two weeks after being awarded the NABC Player of the Year award, followed today by the Oscar Robertson Trophy voted on by the USBWA and the Adolph Rupp Trophy. The two prestigious awards followed national player of the year awards by media outlets such as Rivals.com, ESPN, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.
This weekend will prove to be a busy one for one the game's brightest stars. Durant will arrive in Atlanta on Thursday to receive the first of three national awards. He will first receive the Adolph Rupp Trophy in a press conference at 5:30 at the Hyatt Regency after winning by a considerable margin. Next up will be the Oscar Robertson Trophy on Friday at 8 a.m. at an awards breakfast in Atlanta. On Sunday in Atlanta, the Big 12 Player of the Year will officially receive the NABC Player of the Year award at a banquet.
Durant becomes the first player from the Big12/Big 8 conference to win the Oscar Robertson Trophy since its inception in 1959.
After picking up the hardware for the two player of the year awards, the only question that remains is if Durant will make it a clean sweep by winning the Naismith and Wooden awards that are considered the basketball equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. At this point, it would take an upset along the lines of Villanova over Georgetown for Durant to not make a clean sweep.
The Naismith Award will be presented at the Atlanta Tip-off club on April 5 with the Wooden Award to follow at the Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 7.
To add to the list of prestigious awards, Durant was the only member of the AP All-American team to be voted in unanimously.
Durant finished his record setting freshman season at Texas averaging 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.9 blocked shots and 1.9 steals. The 6-foot-9 forward set numerous Big 12 records and school records in leading the Longhorns to a 25-10 record.
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