Tyasha Harris among Wade Trophy finalists
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball senior Tyasha Harris was named one of four finalists for the 2020 Wade Trophy, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today. It marks the third time in four seasons that a Gamecock has been among the finalists for the award and continues Harris’ recognition as one of the top players in the country. She is also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and the Nancy Lieberman Award in addition to winning The Dawn Staley Award earlier this month.
The 5-foot-10 point guard adds this accolade to her All-American and All-SEC status this season as she turned in a career-high 12.0 points per game to go with her SEC-best 5.7 assists per game, which ranked 12th in the nation. The sure-handed point guard was 10th in the nation with a 2.78 assist-to-turnover ratio as well. Combing her scoring and points off her assists. Harris had her hands on 30.7 percent of the Gamecocks’ total offense, which averaged a school-record 82.0 points. In the biggest games, Harris’ assist numbers grew to 5.9 per SEC game and 6.4 per game against nationally ranked opponents. In five games against top-10 foes, her contributions were even more gaudy – 17.0 points and 7.8 assists per game.
Beyond her statistical impact, Harris’ third season as a team captain saw her thrive in the role, leading a roster that included just one other Gamecock with more than 10 starts to her career. Her steadying presence and understanding of personnel helped channel the talented, ultra-competitive young team to a 32-1 overall record that included SEC regular-season and tournament titles and 10 weeks ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll.
Harris enjoying the spotlight as a senior is a fitting end for a standout career that has often seen her subtle command of the point guard position overshadowed by larger figures. After taking over the starting role in January of her freshman season, she was at the helm for the 2017 NCAA National Championship, two SEC Regular-Season Championships (2017, 2020) and three SEC Tournament titles (2017, 2018, 2020). The Gamecocks won 84.3 percent (118-22) of the games she played, including 85.9 percent (55-9) of regular-season SEC games. In 55 career games against ranked opponents, she led her team to a 38-17 mark (.691).
Individually, Harris is a three-time All-SEC selection and two-time WBCA Honorable Mention All-American. She is the first Gamecock to record 700 assists, finishing with 705 to rank 10th all-time in the SEC. Harris also holds the school record for career assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.55, and she is tied for the program record with 139 games played. In addition to her 11 double-doubles, the most points-assists double-doubles in program history, she ranks among the program’s top 10 in seven other career categories – free throw percentage (. 792, 2nd), minutes played (4,168, 2nd), games started (127, 2nd), assists per game (5.1, 3rd), steals (224, 8th), made 3s (135, 9th), 3-point field goal percentage (.328, 10th) and minutes per game (30.0, 10th).
The other finalists for the award are Dana Evans of Louisville, Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon and Aari McDonald of Arizona.The WBCA will announce the winner of the 2020 Wade Trophy on April 2. Now in its 43rd year, the Wade Trophy is the oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award in college women’s basketball.