Trio Of Gamecocks Land On Wade Watch List
By: USC SID
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — South Carolina senior guard Tiffany Mitchell and its frontcourt duo of junior Alaina Coates and sophomore A’ja Wilson have been named to the 30-player “Wade Watch” list, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced on Friday. The Gamecocks’ three selections are tied for the most among Division I women’s programs, and this year marks the third-straight season that Mitchell has been nominated for the award.
The Wade Trophy is presented to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA Division I women’s basketball player each year – one that displays leadership on and off the court. The winner of the prestigious national honor will be announced at the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis (Apr. 3-5)
Mitchell, who was named to the John R. Wooden Award Final Ballot last week, once again asserted herself as the leader of South Carolina’s backcourt this season, ranking second on the team with 15.0 points per game to go along with a team-high 2.5 assists per contest. The Charlotte, N.C., native guided the Gamecocks to the SEC regular-season title and the SEC Tournament championship for the second-straight year and was tabbed SEC Tournament MVP after averaging a team-high 15.7 points during South Carolina’s run to the title.
Coates has consistently stuffed the stat sheet in her junior campaign for the Gamecocks, racking up an SEC-leading 17 double-doubles this season. Her 10.1 boards per game lead the league and rank 23rd in the nation, and her production down low carried over to the SEC Tournament, where she averaged a double-double with 10.3 points and 10.0 rebounds. Coates registered three 20-point games this season and finished in double figures in 22 of South Carolina’s 32 contests.
Wilson, also on the Wooden Award Final Ballot, made her impact felt on both ends of the court in her second year at South Carolina. The 2016 SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year ranks among the league’s top five in field goal percentage, rebounding and scoring, and her 3.1 blocks per game are good for the 12th-best mark in Division I. She tallied 12 double-doubles on the season, the last of which came in the SEC Tournament championship game against No. 16/16 Mississippi State when the forward notched 19 points and 13 rebounds.
No. 3/2 South Carolina (31-1, 16-0 SEC) will learn its first-round opponent in the 2016 NCAA Tournament on Mon., March 14, when the bracket is announced.
Wade Watch List
Jillian Alleyne, Oregon
Ameryst Alston, Ohio State
Rachel Banham, Minnesota
Imani Boyette, Texas
Adut Bulgak, Florida State
Jordin Canada, UCLA
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Nia Coffey, Northwestern
Nina Davis, Baylor
Diamond DeShields, Tennessee
Makayla Epps, Kentucky
Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut
Niya Johnson, Baylor
Brionna Jones, Maryland
Jonquel Jones, George Washington
Brittney Martin, Oklahoma State
Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Adrienne Motley, Miami
Kelsey Plum, Washington
Aeriel Powers, Michigan State
Azura Stevens, Duke
Breanna Stewart, Connecticut
Morgan Tuck, Connecticut
Brianna Turner, Notre Dame
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State
Courtney Walker, Texas A&M
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Maryland
Courtney Williams, South Florida
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina