Ionescu Leads Nine from Pac-12 on Wade Watch List
SAN FRANCISCO - OREGON’s Sabrina Ionescu leads nine Pac-12 women’s basketball student-athletes on the Wade Trophy Watch List, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today. Ionescu was the winner of the 2019 award. All nine have been named to the three major player of the year watch lists (John Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Wade Trophy), which were announced this week.
Receiving recognition this week and on the Wade Watch list are Duck teammates senior Ruthy Hebard and junior Satou Sabally. OREGON STATE was represented by senior Mikayla Pivec and junior Destiny Slocum, while STANFORD placed senior DiJonai Carrington and junior Kiana Williams on the list. ARIZONA’s Aari McDonald and UCLA’s Michaela Onyenwere were also among the candidates named to all three watch lists.
The Pac-12 has had the most candidates on all three preseason lists, which include the John Wooden Award Watch List and the Wade Watch. The Naismith Trophy Watch List featured 11 from the Conference, adding Oregon’s Erin Boley and UCLA’s Japreece Dean.
With Ionescu winning the Wade Trophy and Wooden Award in 2019, a Pac-12 student-athlete has won the honors in two of the last three seasons with WASHINGTON’s Kelsey Plum grabbing the awards in 2017. Plum is the only player from the Pac-12 to ever win the Naismith Trophy, doing so that same season.
All nine current Pac-12 student-athletes on the three watch lists have also been named ESPNW’s Top 25 College Women’s Basketball Players of 2019-20, with Ionescu earning the top ranking. Hebard was ranked No. 5, followed by Sabally at No. 8 and Slocum was tabbed No. 9. At Nos. 11, 12, 13 and 14 are Onyenwere, McDonald, Pivec and Williams, with Carrington rounding out the league’s list at No. 20.
In its 43rd year, the Wade Trophy is the oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award in college women’s basketball. It is named in honor of the late, legendary Delta State University head coach Lily Margaret Wade, who won three consecutive national championships with the Lady Statesmen. First awarded in 1978 by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), now known as SHAPE America, the Wade Trophy has been presented to the WBCA NCAA Division I National Player of the Year since 2001.
The “Wade Watch” list of candidates for the Wade Trophy is composed of players selected by the WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Selection Committee. The committee will review the list in January to determine if additional players will be added based on their play during the first half of the 2019-20 season.
Five Pac-12 teams are ranked in the preseason, including Oregon, which received its first-ever No. 1 ranking. Stanford was ranked No. 3 in the preseason Associated Press poll, followed by No. 7 OSU, No. 11 UCLA and No. 20 ARIZONA STATE.
More than 100 Pac-12 women’s basketball games will be televised this season on Pac-12 Networks and ESPN Network, including all 108 league matchups. The season culminates at the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev., March 5-8, 2020. Visit pac-12.com for a full schedule. For more information on the Wade Trophy, visit wbca.org.