Mitchell, Wilson Finalists for National Player of the Year


COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — South Carolina senior guard Tiffany Mitchell and sophomore forward A’ja Wilson were named to the John R. Wooden Award Final Ballot, the organization announced on Wednesday. Mitchell is also a finalist for the Dawn Staley Award, given by the Phoenix Club of Philadelphia.

Mitchell collected All-SEC First Team recognition for the third-straight season, the first in the league to do so since 2009 and just the second Gamecock ever to accomplish the feat. Following a season in which she ranked among the SEC’s top 10 in scoring (5th, 15.6 ppg), free throw percentage (2nd, .833), steals per game (8th, 1.9 spg) and made 3-pointers per game (6th, 1.7) in league play, the senior claimed SEC Tournament MVP honors behind 15.7 points and 3.3 assists per game at the event.

Wilson brought home SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors as she ranks among the SEC’s top scorers and rebounders this season at 16.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. She ranks 12th in the nation in blocked shots per game at 3.1 per game. She has 12 double-doubles this season, including five in SEC play, and seven 20-point outings, which feature four against nationally ranked SEC foes. Already with 978 career points, Wilson is closing in on becoming just the second Gamecock to reach 1,000 points in her sophomore season.

The Wooden Award, selected by hundreds of members of the national women’s basketball media, will announce its All-American Team on Mond., March 28, during a 30-minute show on ESPNU at 8 p.m. The winner of the Wooden Award will be announced as part of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s the weekend of April 7-9.

The Dawn Staley Award winner will be announced during the NCAA Final Four weekend with an award ceremony honoring the winner set for Fri., April 22, at the Union League of Philadelphia.

Naismith Trophy Midseason Watch List

Jillian Alleyne, Jr., G, Oregon

Rachel Banham, Sr., G, Minnesota

Nina Davis, Jr., F, Baylor

Moriah Jefferson, Sr., G, UConn

Brionna Jones, Jr., C, Maryland

Kelsey Mitchell, So., G, Ohio State

Tiffany Mitchell, Sr., G, South Carolina

Kelsey Plum, Jr., G, Washington

Aerial Powers, Jr., F, Michigan State

Breanna Stewart, Sr., F, UConn

Morgan Tuck, Jr., F, UConn

Brianna Turner, So., F, Notre Dame

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Jr., G, Maryland

Courtney Williams, Sr., G, South Florida

A’ja Wilson, So., F, South Carolina

Dawn Staley Award Finalists

Rachel Banham, Minnesota

Moriah Jefferson, UConn

Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina


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