UConn’s Bueckers only freshman on Wooden list

UConn‘s Paige Bueckers is the only freshman among the 15 women’s college basketball players on the Wooden Award national ballot, which was released Saturday.

South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston and Stanford guard Haley Jones were the only other underclassmen on the list. Stanford was the only school with multiple representatives, as senior guard Kiana Williams also was included in the top 15.

The Pac-12 led the way with four players on the national ballot, including conference player of the year Aari McDonald of Arizona and fellow senior Michaela Onyenwere of UCLA.

The SEC and Big 12 each had three players on the ballot. Louisville‘s Dana Evans, who earlier this week was named the ACC player of the year for the second consecutive season, is one of seven seniors in the top 15. Kentucky‘s Rhyne Howard, the SEC player of the year for the second season in a row, is one of five juniors.

Bueckers has led UConn to a 21-1 record and the No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25. Earlier this week, Bueckers joined Maya Moore as the only women to sweep Big East player and freshman of the year awards in the same season. Bueckers leads UConn in scoring (19.8 PPG), assists (6.2 APG), steals (2.4 SPG) and 3-point shooting (47.6%).

Texas‘ Charli Collier, a draft-eligible junior and the projected No. 1 pick in the 2021 WNBA draft, also was included on the national ballot.

The Wooden Award honoring the top women’s college basketball player was established in 2004. Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu won the award in 2018-19 and 2019-20. The Wooden Award All-America team will be announced in late March, with the 2021 winner revealed following the NCAA tournament in April.

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