ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has chosen the recipients of its 2009-10 women's postseason honors. Connecticut's Tina Charles is the National Player of the Year, while Nebraska coach Connie Yori is the National Coach of the Year and Baylor's Brittney Griner is the National Freshman of the Year. All three selections will be honored at he USBWA Women's Awards Breakfast on Tues., April 6 in San Antonio.
Charles, who is UConn's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, leads the Huskies into the Final Four with a perfect 37-0 record, riding a record 76-game winning streak in pursuit of back-to-back national championships. She has averaged 18.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Yori led Nebraska to the best season in program history. The Huskers were 32-1, including 16-0 in Big 12 regular-season play. Nebraska won its first-ever conference title and advanced to the NCAA regionals for the first time in program history. Griner, with 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.4 blocks per game, has led Baylor back to the Final Four for the first time since 2005, when the Bears won the national title.
Charles and Connecticut teammate Maya Moore headline the USBWA Women's All-America Team. Moore, the 2009 USBWA Women's National Player of the Year and a three-time All-American, and Charles are among five Huskies to have earned National Player of the Year honors from the USBWA (Rebecca Lobo in 1995, Sue Bird in 2002 and Diana Taurasi in 2003 are the others). Another pair of All-America teammates will be on display at the Final Four as well. Two-time All-America Jayne Appel and Stanford teammate Nnemkadi Ogwumike were named to the team. Ohio State's Jantel Lavender is also a repeat selection.
There are seven first-time All-America selections this season, including Charles and Ogwumike: Alysha Clark of Middle Tennessee, Victoria Dunlap of Kentucky, Kelsey Griffin of Nebraska, Jasmine Thomas of Duke and Monica Wright of Virginia. Dunlap, Griffin and Wright are the first players ever selected to the USBWA Women's All-America Team from their respective schools since the association began naming a team during the 1996-97 season.
Following is the complete list of 2009-10 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 award programs, contact Executive Director Joe Mitch in the Missouri Valley Conference office at 314-421-0339.
All-time USBWA women's honors