INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) For the season's 16th and final 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 for this season, Tennessee guard-forward Rennia Davis is national player while Notre Dame forward Sam Brunelle has been chosen for the freshman citation after each helped their teams go unbeaten ending the week of Sunday, March 1.
As the Southeastern Conference player and Atlantic Coast Conference 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.
Davis, a 6-2 junior guard-forward from Jacksonville, Fla., put together back-to-back double-doubles as part of a three-game victory finish to help the Lady Vols reach a 43rd 20-win season for the past 44 years. She averaged 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists as Tennessee ended up in a tie for third in the conference standings to help strengthen ITS case for a 39th straight NCAA Tournament bert. She connected on 48.4 percent from the field (15-for-31), and also shot 81.8 percent (9-for-11) from the line. She now has on the season 11 double-doubles and six 20-plus point games and has scored in double figures for 26 straight games and 40 of her last 41. Defensively, she helped restrict Auburn double-double leader Unique Thompson to six points and five rebounds.
Brunelle, a 6-2 forward from Ruckersville, Va., led the Irish to a perfect week, highlighted by knocking down seven three-pointers, missing just four attempts, against then-No. 19 Florida State on the road to help Notre Dame upset the Seminoles. She averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in the pair of triumphs. She had 23 points and nine rebounds in a win over North Carolina. In the victory against Florida State, she scored 25 points, propelled by her three-point attack. Her seven threes tied the Notre Dame record for freshmen and were second-best overall in the Notre Dame record book.
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)