19 Pac-12 Women's Basketball players named to National Awards Watch Lists

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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 with at least one Pac-12 women’s basketball student-athlete appearing on each list. A nation-leading 19 from the Conference appeared on the lists, including two-time Nancy Lieberman Award winner OREGON’s Sabrina Ionescu.

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 Pac-12 had the most candidates of any conference for the Lieberman (4), Drysdale (5) and Miller (5) awards, and tied for the most candidates on the McClain list with three. Nine (out of 12) different league schools are represented across the five lists, tying with the ACC (out of 15) for the most school representation for a conference.

Both Oregon and STANFORD lead Pac-12 teams with four candidates each, tying for second most of any team in the country. ARIZONA, OREGON STATE and UCLA each had multiple nominees, as well, while USC, UTAH, WASHINGTON and WASHINGTON STATE each had a candidate on one of the lists.

The 2018-19 Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Award winner, Ionescu is a two time winner of the Lieberman Award, presented to the nation’s top point guard. She is joined on the list by UCLA’s Japreece Dean, UTAH’s Dru Gylten and OREGON STATE’s Destiny Slocum.

The Pac-12 has five candidates for the Drysdale Award, presented to the country’s top shooting guard. Stanford’s Kiana Williams is on the list after being one of five finalists for the award last year. Joining her are Arizona’s Aari McDonald, the nation’s top-returning scorer, Washington’s Amber Melgoza, Oregon’s Minyon Moore and USC’s Stephanie Watts.

Five Pac-12 student-athletes are also on the 20-candidate list for the Miller Award, presented to the nation’s top small forward. UO’s Satou Sabally was a finalist for the honor last season. She is joined by the Cardinal’s DiJonai Carrington, WSU’s Borislava Hristova, UCLA’s Michaela Onyenwere and OSU’s Mikayla Pivec.

The McClain Award candidate list featured three from the Pac-12. The Ducks’ Ruthy Hebard won the award, which is presented to the nation’s top power forward, in 2018 and is on the candidate list again. She is joined by Stanford’s Francesca Belibi, who is the only freshman on the list. Arizona’s Cate Reese is one of just three underclassmen on the 20-player list.

Rounding out the “Starting Five” is the candidate list for the Lisa Leslie Award, which is presented to the nation’s top center. Stanford’s Maya Dodson is the lone Pac-12 representative on the list.

The Selection Committee for the positional awards is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. New to the award this season is Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for each award will be narrowed to just 10 with the lists pared down to five in March.

The winners of the Women’s Starting Five will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, Calif., on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the Men’s Starting Five.

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
Top point guard
Japreece Dean, UCLA
Dru Gylten, Utah
Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon
Destiny Slocum, Oregon State

Ann Meyers Drysdale Award
Top shooting guard
Aari McDonald, Arizona
Amber Melgoza, Washington
Minyon Moore, Oregon
Stephanie Watts, USC
Kiana Williams, Stanford

Cheryl Miller Award
Top small forward
DiJonai Carrington, Stanford
Borislava Hristova, Washington State
Michael Onyenwere, UCLA
Mikayla Pivec, Oregon State
Satou Sabally, Oregon

Katrina McClain Award
Top power forward
Francesca Belibi, Stanford
Ruthy Hebard, Oregon
Cate Reese, Arizona

Lisa Leslie Award
Top center
Maya Dodson, Stanford

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