Coates, Wilson Named to USBWA Drysdale Award Midseason Watch List

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) – South Carolina senior center Alaina Coates and junior forward A’ja Wilson are among the 28 entries on the Midseason Watch List for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, the USBWA announced Tuesday afternoon. The Gamecocks are one of five programs with multiple selections for the national honor that recognizes the Women’s National Player of the Year.

Balloting for the accolade will take place in March, and the winner will be revealed at a news conference in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Dallas. This year marks the second-straight season Wilson has been named to the award’s Midseason Watch List.

Coates remains a force down low in her last year at Carolina, leading the SEC in field goal percentage and rebounds in conference play. The Irmo, S.C., native’s 12 double-doubles this season are tied for eighth nationally, and she has led the Gamecocks in scoring six times as a senior. Coates ranks second among Gamecocks with 14.4 points per contest, and her 1,127 career rebounds and 54 double-doubles top all active Division I players.

Wilson has set the tone for the Gamecocks on the offensive end as of late. Three of her team-best six 20-point games have come in SEC play, including a 26-point performance in Carolina’s 64-61 win over No. 4/4 Mississippi State Monday night at Colonial Life Arena. The forward, who leads the Gamecocks with 16.8 points per game, became the first player in program history to reach 200 career blocks with her first of three swats against the Bulldogs. Wilson ranks third in the conference and 40th nationally with 2.1 blocks per contest.

No. 5/5 South Carolina (17-1, 7-0 SEC) returns to action on Thu., Jan. 26, when it faces Georgia on the road. Tipoff between the Gamecocks and Lady Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum is set for 7 p.m., and the game will air on SEC Network.


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