Pac-12 Announces Annual Women’s Basketball Awards
Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu repeats as Pac-12 Player of the Year
Utah’s Dre’Una Edwards voted Pac-12 Freshman of the Year
California’s Kristine Anigwe voted Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
Oregon State’s Aleah Goodman was selected the Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year
Oregon’s Kelly Graves named John R. Wooden Coach of the Year
SAN FRANCISCO - In a vote of the league’s 12 women’s basketball head coaches, OREGON junior Sabrina Ionescu was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year for the second-straight year. UTAH’s Dre’Una Edwards was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and CALIFORNIA senior Kristine Anigwe was tabbed the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, the Conference office announced on Tuesday on Pac-12 Network. Additionally, OREGON STATE sophomore Aleah Goodman was selected the Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year in the award’s inaugural year, while OREGON head coach Kelly Graves was voted the John R. Wooden Coach of the Year by his colleagues, becoming the first Duck mentor to earn the honor since 1999.
The Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament takes place this week, Thursday-Sunday, March 7-10, going to Las Vegas for the first time, playing at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tickets are available for purchase at pac-12.com/tickets.
PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sabrina Ionescu, Jr., G, Oregon
A junior from Walnut Creek, Calif., Ionescu repeats as Pac-12 Player of the Year after winning the honor last season. She is the first Duck to win the honor multiple times. Ionescu has put together another historic season recording a NCAA-record seven triple-doubles this season after already setting the all-time men’s or women’s NCAA career triple-doubles record earlier in the season. She enters the Pac-12 Tournament with 17 triple-doubles in 101 career- games played. She ranks in the top 25 in the country in nine statistical categories this season, including ranking second in total assists (242), third in assists per game (8.1) and eighth in three-point percentage (.444). She also notched her 700th-career assist to become only the fifth player in the Pac-12 all-time to reach the threshold. She led the Ducks to a second-straight Pac-12 regular-season title and a second-consecutive No. 1 seed. She currently sits on every national player of the year watch list, including the Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden Award, while also being a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, presented to the nation’s top point guard, an honor she won last season, and is a finalist for the Dawn Staley Award. She was also voted Pac-12 Player of the Week twice this season, USBWA National Player of the Week twice and ESPNW National Player of the Week once.
Last season, Ionescu became the third Duck to earn the Pac-12 Player of the Year honor all-time and first since 2000. It was the fourth time a player in Pac-12 history was named player of the year the year after being voted the Conference’s freshman of the year.
PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kristine Anigwe, Sr., F, California
Senior Kristine Anigwe (Phoenix, Ariz.) is the first Golden Bear to be named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in the 12-year history of the award. Anigwe is a four-time All-Pac-12 honoree, becoming the 15th player in league history to earn league honors four times, earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and USBWA National Freshman of the Year in 2016. She also makes a second appearance in three years on the All-Defensive team. Anigwe has been dominant in 2018-19, recording a double-double in each game this season, including a 30-point, 30-rebound performance on the final day of the regular season. She has a double-doubles streak of 30-consecutive games, dating back to last season. She ranks second in the Pac-12 in blocks per game (1.7), while recording career-bests with 23.1 points per game and a NCAA-best 16.4 rebounds per game. She is three blocks from becoming the 13th player in Pac-12 history to record 200 blocks. She is the fourth player in Pac-12 history to record 2,500 points (2,519) and ranks third all-time in rebounding (1,347), making her only the second player in league history to rank in the top five of both categories. Anigwe is on all the national player of the year watch lists, including the Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden Award. She is also a finalist for the Lisa Leslie Award, presented to the nation’s top center. She was voted Pac-12 Player of the Week five times this season, selected ESPNW National Player of the Week twice and was most recently tabbed USBWA National Player of the Week for her 30-30 outing on Sunday.
PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Dre’Una Edwards, F, Utah
A freshman from Las Vegas, Dre’Una Edwards is the first student-athlete from Utah to win the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honor all-time. Before suffering a season-ending injury on Feb. 22, she was voted Pac-12 Freshman of the Week six times, helping the Utes claim nine weekly freshmen honors, setting a single-season Pac-12 record. She started in all 26 games she played in, averaging 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. She ranked fourth in the Pac-12, and first among rookies, in field goal percentage (54.0) and is sixth in the league in blocks per game (1.12). Edwards has helped Utah post its first 20-win campaign since 2012-13. Its nine Pac-12 wins are a team record, finishing a team-record tying sixth place in the final standings. She shot better than 50 percent from the floor in 17 games. In her first-career collegiate game at Nevada, she tallied 16 points and 15 rebounds, en route to seven double-doubles on the season.
PAC-12 SIXTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Aleah Goodman, So., G, Oregon State
Aleah Goodman (Milwaukie, Ore.) is the first-ever recipient of the Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year honor. The sophomore guard is averaging 10.7 points per game coming off the OSU bench, while shooting 42.3 percent from the floor and 42.3 percent from long range in 24.9 minutes of playing time. She has been even better in league games, contributing 11.9 ppg to rank among the top 25 in the Pac-12 in the category, while also averaging 28.2 minutes per game. She was a key contributor in the upset win of Oregon where she had 22 points and also caused a key turnover in the final seconds to seal a 67-62 OSU victory. Since Feb. 1, she has played at least 24 minutes per game and averaged 12.0 ppg. The ESPNW National Player of the Week on Feb. 25, she has helped the Beavs, who have not finished lower than third since 2013, to a 14-4 Pac-12 record, a No. 3 seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament. Oregon State is projected to be a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament later this month.
JOHN R. WOODEN PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR: Kelly Graves, Oregon
In his fifth season at the Oregon helm, Kelly Graves earns the John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year award for the first time. It is only the third time since the Conference began sponsoring women’s basketball in 1986-87 that a Duck mentor has received the award. The only other UO coach to receive the league’s top coaching honor was Jody Runge when she was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1994 and 1999. Graves has led the Ducks to a second-straight Pac-12 regular-season title, the program’s fourth all-time and the first time the team has clinched back-to-back crowns since 1999 and 2000. The No. 1 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament, the Ducks lead the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.93), three-point field goal percentage (.427) and turnovers per game (10.0), while boasting the second-highest scoring offensive in the country (87.3 ppg). On Feb. 18, the program received its highest ranking in team history, coming in at No. 2 in the country in the Associated Press poll, appearing in the top six all season. Projected to be a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament later this month, Oregon is 27-3 on the season, posting its fourth-consecutive 20-win campaign.
The Conference Coach of the Year honor was renamed in honor of the late John R. Wooden, former legendary UCLA coach, during the 2010-11 campaign.
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