ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Notre Dame guard Jewell Loyd
has been selected as the 2012-13 Women's National Freshman
of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.The
first-year standout from Lincolnwood, Ill., helped lead the Irish
to the regular season and Big East tournament titles as well as
a third straight appearance in the NCAA Women's Final Four this
weekend in New Orleans.
Loyd (12.5 points per game) was named Big East Freshman of the
Year, the first Notre Dame player in the conference honored with
the award since 2002. Loyd has helped the Irish to what is now a
school-record 30-game win streak after beating Duke in the Norfolk
(Va.) Regional final to advance to New Orleans."
"I'm really happy with the way Jewell has played," said
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, whose Irish were ranked second most
of the season. "What a phenomenal season for a freshman. She came
in with high expectations, and was able to meet those expectations.
"That's a tough thing to be able to do. But probably what I like
most is how she's developed at the defensive end — she's such a
sponge and wants very much to know what she can do to get better,
and that's the sign of a player who has a very bright future ahead
Loyd helped Notre Dame sweep arch-rival Connecticut three times
and the Irish will face the Huskies a fourth time Sunday in the
Loyd will be honored before the game at the USBWA Awards Presentation
in the New Orleans Sports Arena Sun., April 7, prior to the game
with the Huskies.
"Jewell has really added another weapon for us that maybe
we haven't had in the past," said two-time USBWA All-American Skylar
Diggins. "She's so athletic, she can jump out of the gym, she can
shoot the three and she's not afraid to get inside and finish with
"I've been so fortunate to play with her this year and be able
to pass along some of what I learned during my career, and hopefully
she'll only continue to get better as time goes on."
The Women's National Freshman of the Year Award
is voted by all members of the USBWA at the conclusion of the
regular season. The USBWA has presented a National Freshman of
the Year Award each year since the 1998-99 season.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college
basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs,
contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.
All-Time USBWA National Freshmen of the Year
1999 Linda Froehlich, UNLV
2000 LaToya Thomas, Mississippi
2001 Alana Beard, Duke
2002 Jacqueline Batteast,
2003 Seimone Augustus, LSU
2004 Tiffany Jackson, Texas
Tasha Humphrey, Georgia; Candice Wiggins, Stanford
2007 Tina Charles, Connecticut
2008 Maya Moore,
2009 Shekinna Stricklen, Tennessee
2011 Odyssey Sims, Baylor
2012 Elizabeth Williams,
All-time USBWA women's honors