Coates and Wilson Land on Wooden Award Midseason Top 25

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) – South Carolina senior center Alaina Coates and junior forward A’ja Wilson earned spots on the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced. The Gamecocks are one of four programs to boast two players in contention for the prestigious honor, and this season marks the third year Wilson has been selected to the midseason list.

The leading candidates for the accolade will be cut to 20 players in early February before 15 student-athletes are placed on the final ballot prior to the NCAA Tournament. Wilson was one of five finalists for the honor last season, and the Hopkins, S.C., native was put on the award’s final ballot as a freshman in 2015.

Coates continues to stuff the stat sheet in her final year as a Gamecock, registering double-doubles in nine of Carolina’s first 14 games. The center leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in field goal percentage, and her team-leading 10.6 rebounds per contest are good for second among conference players. Coates has paced the Gamecocks on the glass 10 times this season and boasts two 20-point games on the year.

Wilson, Carolina’s leading scorer at 16.9 points per game, has hit her stride at the start of SEC play. The junior averages a double-double in league action with marks of 18.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per contest, and two of her team-best five 20-point performances this season have come against conference foes. Wilson remains one of the top rim protectors in the country, ranking third in the SEC and 35th in Division I with 2.2 blocks per game.

No. 5/5 South Carolina (13-1, 3-0 SEC) resumes conference play tonight at home against Georgia (10-6, 2-1 SEC). Tipoff from Colonial Life Arena is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will air on SEC Network.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks