15 Pac-12 WBB players named to national awards watch lists
SAN FRANCISCO - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced this week 20 candidates for each of the five positional awards and at least one Pac-12 women’s basketball student-athlete appears on the lists, including 2018 award winners OREGON’s Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard.
Top 20 candidates were announced for the Nancy Lieberman Award (top point guard), Ann Meyers Drysdale (top shooting guard), Cheryl Miller Award (top small forward), Katrina McClain Award (top power forward) and Lisa Leslie Award (center). Hall of Famers Drysdale, Miller and Leslie were former Pac-10 standouts.
The 2018 winner, Ionescu is one of three candidates from the Pac-12 for the Lieberman Award. COLORADO’s Kennedy Leonard and OREGON STATE’s Destiny Slocum also made the list. Leonard is a multiple-time All-Pac-12 honoree and Slocum will be eligible to play for the Beavers this season and was the 2017 WBCA National Freshman of the Year.
The Pac-12 has the most candidates on the Drysdale candidate list. UCLA’s Kennedy Burke was a candidate for the award last year. Joining her are USC’s Aliyah Mazyck, WASHINGTON’s Amber Melgoza and STANFORD’s Kiana Williams. Mazyck was named to the 2018 Pac-12 All-Defensive team and Williams posted a .714 three point shooting percentage in the postseason. Melgoza was an All-Pac-12 pick and was second in the league in scoring.
The Conference also boasts the most candidates for the Katrina McClain Award, tying the Big 12 with four each, including 2018 award winner Hebard. Joining her are ARIZONA STATE’s Kianna Ibis, UTAH’s Megan Huff and STANFORD’s Alanna Smith. All four are coming off seasons where they were named to the All-Pac-12 team last year.
The Miller Award watch list includes three from the Pac-12, including WASHINGTON STATE’s Borislava Hristova, OREGON STATE’s Katie McWilliams and OREGON’s Satou Sabally. Sabally was the 2018 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Hristova was voted to the All-Pac-12 team, and McWilliams was third in the the Conference in three-point shooting percentage.
CALIFORNIA’s Kristine Anigwe is the only Pac-12 student-athlete on the Leslie Award watch list. Anigwe has a chance to join the former USC standout and become just the 10th player in Pac-12 women's basketball history to amass both 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
The Selection Committees for each of the positional awards are composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 player watch lists will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to the Hall of Fame’s selection committees. Fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalist at www.hoophallawards.com.
The winner of each of the awards will be revealed and recognized on an ESPN platform during the 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Fla., at the WBCA Convention. Also being awarded is the Wade Trophy, the sport’s oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award which is presented annually by the WBCA’s community of coaches to the best player in college women’s basketball.
For more information and the latest updates on the Hoop Hall awards, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #LeslieAward on Twitter and Instagram. For more information on Pac-12 women’s basketball, visit pac-12.com.
|Nancy Lieberman Award||Point Guard|
|Destiny Slocum||Oregon State|
|Ann Meyers Drysdale||Shooting Guard|
|Cheryl Miller Award||Small Forward|
|Katie McWilliams||Oregon State|
|Borislava Hristova||Washington State|
|Katrina McClain Award||Power Forward|
|Kianna Ibis||Arizona State|
|Lisa Leslie Award||Center|