Four of the 25 are newcomers
As conference play gets into full swing around the country, it’s time for the award committees to start whittling down their watch lists. The Los Angeles Athletic Club got that underway on Wednesday with the release of the John R. Wooden Award Women’s Midseason Top 25.
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Most of the players named to the midseason list were part of the preseason watch list of 30. Players are able to play themselves onto or off of the list, though. Four used their early-season play to convince the committee that they belonged.
Two members of the Connecticut Huskies appeared on the top 25 list after being left off the preseason list. Junior forward Megan Walker and sophomore forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa gave the nation’s top-ranked team four players on the midseason list to lead all schools. They were joined by South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston and North Carolina State’s Elissa Cunane.
In addition to Walker and Nelson-Ododa, Connecticut saw Crystal Dangerfield and Christyn Williams included. The South Carolina Gamecocks had Tyasha Harris join Boston.
The Pac-12 led all conferences with seven selections. Three of those–Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally–came from the second-ranked Oregon Ducks. Oregon State, which stands third in the national polls, added Destiny Slocum and Mikayla Pivec. Arizona’s Aari McDonald and UCLA’s Michaela Onyenwere rounded out the list.
The defending champion Baylor Lady Bears were the final of five teams to have multiple players appear among the top 25. Lauren Cox and Juicy Landrum were named from the sixth-ranked team.
Last year, the John R. Wooden Award was taken by Ionescu. If she wins again in 2020, she would be the first back-to-back winner since Connecticut’s Breanna Stewart in 2016. It would also mark the third time in the past four years that the winner was from the Pac-12.
The John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, Apr. 10.
The complete list
Aliyah Boston, South Carolina (SEC)
Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M (SEC)
Kaila Charles, Maryland (Big Ten)
Lauren Cox, Baylor (Big XII)
Elissa Cunane, NC State (ACC)
Crystal Dangerfield, Connecticut (American)
Rennia Davis, Tennessee (SEC)
Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas (SEC)
Dana Evans, Louisville (ACC)
Kiah Gillespie, Florida State (ACC)
Tyasha Harris, South Carolina (SEC)
Ruthy Hebard, Oregon (Pac-12)
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky (SEC)
Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (Pac-12)
Juicy Landrum, Baylor (Big XII)
Aari McDonald, Arizona (Pac-12)
Beatrice Mompremier, Miami (ACC)
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Connecticut (American)
Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA (Pac-12)
Ali Patberg, Indiana (Big Ten)
Mikayla Pivec, Oregon State (Pac-12)
Satou Sabally, Oregon (Pac-12)
Destiny Slocum, Oregon State (Pac-12)
Megan Walker, Connecticut (American)
Christyn Williams, Connecticut (American)
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