INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) For the season's 11th U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week and the organization's Tamika Catchings women's freshman player honor, Duke forward Leaonna Odom is national player while Kansas State center Ayoka Lee for the second time this season has been chosen for the freshman citation after each helped their teams gain victories ending the week of Sunday, Jan. 26.
As the ACC player and Big 12 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.
Odom, a 6-2 senior forward from Lompoc, Calif., helped Duke to wins at Syracuse and at home against Georgia Tech averaging 19.5 points per game, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals while connecting with 76.0 percent of her shots from the field. Her 56.7 field goal percentage in league games is third in the ACC. At Syracuse, she had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes of play in which she also hit 11-of-14 shots from the field with three assists and a pair of steals. Against the Yellow Jackets, she fired 8-of-11 from the field to collect 16 points while grabbing six rebounds, three steals and two assists in 32 minutes of action.
Lee, a 6-5 redshirt freshman center from Byron, Minn., averaged a double-double of 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds while shooting 66.7 percent from the field with 3.5 blocks and 1.5 steals. In a win over Oklahoma she collected 23 points on 10-of-13 from the field while tying a school record and gaining a career-high 20 rebounds with five blocks and two steals. She has collected seven Big 12 weekly freshman honors this season, tying for second in conference history. The 20 rebounds ties for most in Division I by a freshman this season. She's the first in the Kansas State program to gain a double-double of 20 or more points and 20 or more rebounds in a game and just the ninth in NCAA Division I and second Power 5 player in the last 10 seasons with a line of 20 or more points, 20 or more rebounds, five or more blocks and two or more steals.
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. Both winners will be honored at the USBWA Awards Luncheon hosted by the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on April 13, 2020.
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)