INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) For the season's 12th 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, Drexel guard Keishana Washington is national player while Middle Tennessee guard Aislynn Hayes for the third time this season has been chosen for the freshman citation after each helped their teams go unbeaten ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 2.
As the Colonial Athletic Association player and Conference USA 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.
Washington, a 5-7 sophomore guard from Pickering, Ontario, who had been averaging 8.2 points this season off the bench, helped Drexel beat the top two teams in the CAA, scoring eight points in the win over Towson, and then exploding Sunday for a career-high 27 points, shooting 10-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-8 three-point attempts, and not committing any turnovers as the Dragons snapped a first-place deadlock with James Madison in a 70-48 victory. Defensively, in her 24 minutes of action, she helped limit the Dukes to a season-low 29.1 percent and second-low 48 points.
Hayes, a 5-6 freshman guard from Murfreesboro, Tenn., averaged 24.5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in a pair of Middle Tennessee wins, setting career-highs for scoring in back-to-back games, while also playing impressively against two of the top C-USA freshmen. In her first game dedicating it to childhood hero Kobe Bryant · against UTEP, she set career highs in free throws made, shooting 12-for-16, and points with 24. Then against UTSA, she topped her previous mark, scoring 25 points, off a career-high 10 field goals made. She is the first three-time, in-season winner since USBWA began awarding weekly freshman honorees during the 2014-15 season.
Since the 1987-88 season, the USBWA has named a women's 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)