ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has chosen the recipients of its 2008-09 women's postseason honors. For the third time, Connecticut has swept the association's player and coach the year awards. Sophomore Maya Moore, the 2008 USBWA Freshman of the Year, is the 2009 USBWA National Player of the Year, while coach Geno Auriemma has captured USBWA National Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season and fourth time overall. Eight other times, the player and coach of the year have come from the same school.
Moore, who has set UConn's single-season scoring record, leads the Huskies into the Final Four with a perfect 37-0 record. Auriemma, in pursuit of a sixth national title, has been named the USBWA Coach of the Year in 1995, 2003 and '08. No other coach has won it more than once since the award was created in 1990. This will be his tenth appearance in the national semifinals.
Oklahoma's Courtney Paris is the first player man or woman · to be named to a USBWA All-America Team four times. The senior center was the association's freshman of the year in 2005-06. Twelve other women's players have earned three-time honors.
Also returning the the USBWA All-America Team are Louisville's Angel McCoughtry and Maryland's Kristi Toliver. McCoughty has led Louisville to its first Final Four and did so by helping the Cardinals defeat Toliver's Lady Terps.
There are seven first-time selections this season. Stanford's Jayne Appel will also be on display in St. Louis, having led the Cardinal back to the Final Four. Joining her on the team are Chante Black (Duke), DeWanna Bonner (Auburn), Marissa Coleman (Maryland), Jantel Lavender (Ohio State), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut) and Ashley Walker (California).
The 2008-09 USBWA Women's All-America Team features 11 players, due to a tie in the voting.
Tennessee's Shekinna Stricklen is the seventh winner of the USBWA National Freshman of the Year and the first from her school. The Lady Vols, however, did not have anyone chosen to the All-America team for just the second time since the USBWA started honoring women's All-Americans in the 1996-97 season.
Following is the complete list of 2008-09 USBWA women's honors:
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association, formed in 1956, has named a women's All-America team since the 1996-97 season. The association has also named a national player of the year since 1987-88 and a national coach of the year since 1989-90. In 2002-03, the USBWA initiated an award for the nation's top freshman. For more information about the USBWA and its annual awards, contact Executive Director Joe Mitch in the Missouri Valley Conference office at 314-421-0339.
All-Time USBWA women's honors