INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) For the season's first U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week and the organization's first-ever Tamika Catchings Freshman Player of the Week honor, Arizona guard Aari McDonald is national player while Villanova forward Maddy Siegrist has been tabbed for the freshman citation after McDonald helped her team go unbeaten while Siegrist helped her team split its games ending the week of Sunday, Nov. 17.
The USBWA weekly honors for Division I women's players will be handed out each Tuesday this season.
As the Pac-12 player and Big East freshman weekly winners, both were nominated for the awards, which were chosen by Mel Greenberg, the USBWA coordinator for women's basketball, primarily from a pair of lists of Division I conference players and freshmen players of the week.
McDonald, a junior 5-6 guard from Fresno, Calif., averaged 34.0 points in a pair of road wins for Arizona (4-0) at Chicago State and then-No. 22 Texas. In the two games she was 23-for-29 from the field (.793) and she was a perfect 20-for-20 from the line. Against the Longhorns, she had a career-high 44 points, breaking the school record in shooting 14-for-18 from the field and making all 14 attempts from the line. Shes the first player in school history to reach 40 points and her 44 are the most anyone has ever scored against Texas in the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.
Siegrist, a 6-1 redshirt freshman forward from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., averaged 25.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and shot .611 from the field to help Villanova (1-3) eventually get its first season win Sunday at Fordham. She scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds earlier in a loss at American in the nation's capital before getting a game-high 29 points off 13-of-16 from the field against the Rams, to go with six rebounds and three assists. Its the most points by a rookie in the conference since Marquette's Allazia Blockton scored 31 in the 2016 Big East Tournament quarterfinals.
Since the 1987-88 season, the USBWA has named a womens National Player of the Year.
For the 2012-13 season, the national and weekly player award became named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale while this is the first season the national and weekly freshman award is being given in the name of former Tennessee All-American Tamika Catchings.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for both awards, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA.
The winners of the 2020 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year and Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWAs annual awards event in New Orleans, site of the 2020 NCAA Women's Final Four.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected a women's All-America team since the 1996-97 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.
2019-20 USBWA Women's Players of the Week
Week ending Nov. 17: Aari McDonald, Arizona (National); Maddy Siegrist, Villanova (Freshman)
· Week ending Nov. 24: Stella Johnson, Rider (National); Aislynn Hayes, Middle Tennessee (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 1: Dana Evans, Louisville (National); Aliyah Boston, South Carolina (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 8: Megan Walker, UConn (National); Kayla Padilla, Penn (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 15: Destiny Pitts, Minnesota (National); Ayoka Lee, Kansas State (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 22: Charli Collier, Texas (National); Maddy Siegrist, Villanova (Freshman)
· Week ending Dec. 29: Kaila Charles, Maryland (National); Aislynn Hayes, Middle Tennessee (Freshman)
· Week ending Jan. 5: Natasha Mack, Oklahoma State (National); Taylor Jones, Oregon State (Freshman)
· Week ending Jan. 12: Ja'Tavia Tapley, Arizona State (National); Shemera Williams, Virginia (Freshman)
· Week ending Jan. 19: Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (National); Amari Robinson, Clemson (Freshman)
· Week ending Jan. 26: Leaonna Odom, Duke (National); Ayoka Lee, Kansas State (Freshman)
· Week ending Feb. 2: Keishana Washington, Drexel (National); Aislynn Hayes, Middle Tennessee (Freshman)
· Week ending Feb. 9: Erica Ogwumike, Rice (National); Aliyah Boston, South Carolina (Freshman)
· Week ending Feb. 16: CJ Williams, Coastal Carolina (National); Abbey Hsu, Columbia (Freshman)
· Week ending Feb. 23: Bella Alarie, Princeton (National); Anna Makurat, UConn (Freshman)
· Week ending March 1: Rennia Davis, Tennessee (National); Sam Brunelle, Notre Dame (Freshman)