SAN ANTONIO (USBWA) Six repeat members, two freshmen, two players who are their schools' first All-Americans and one member from each of this weekend·s Final Four teams highlight the 2020-21 U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women's All-America Team. Each All-American comes from a different school, marking the first time in 16 seasons and only the sixth time since the USBWA began awarding 10 spots on its All-America team (1993-94) for it not to have any teammates selected.
Six different conferences are represented on a team the USBWA composed into three units for a third consecutive season. Due to a tie in the voting, 16 players are being honored as All-Americans with six players making up the first team. There are six seniors on the team only one made the first team · to go with six juniors, two sophomores and the pair of freshmen.
Three repeat All-Americans sophomore forward Aliyah Boston of South Carolina, senior guard Dana Evans of Louisville and junior guard Rhyne Howard of Kentucky · top the first team along with a pair of dynamic freshmen in UConn guard Paige Bueckers and Iowa guard Caitlin Clark. The first-team selection of Michigan junior forward Naz Hillmon punctuates her being the first USBWA All-American in her program·s history. Bueckers and Clark are sharing the association's Tamika Catchings Award as the National Freshman Player of the Year are part of a rare six-player first team brought about by ties in the voting.
The Big 12 leads the field with its conference-record four selections followed by three from the Southeastern, Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences. The Atlantic Coast earned two members and the Big East had one. The USBWA has also recognized an additional 16 players with honorable mention.
The six first-team members are vying for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the USBWA's National Player of the Year which will be announced on Sunday.
Boston, a 6-5 sophomore from St. Thomas, USVI, and South Carolina (26-4) take on Stanford (29-2) in tonight's Final Four. Last years USBWA Tamika Catchings Award winner and a second-team selection, Boston moves to the first team in this season where she's averaging 13.8 points, 11.4 rebounds (15th nationally) and 2.6 blocks (18th) per game. She posted a rare triple-double against Georgia this season with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks, only the second triple-double in SEC history to include blocks. South Carolina has had an All-American in six of the last seven seasons.
Bueckers is also playing tonight as UConn (28-1) enters its 13th consecutive Final Four taking on Arizona (20-5) in the second national semifinal. The 5-11 guard from Hopkins, Minn., was the Big Easts Player and Freshman of the Year and leads the Huskies with 20.1 points, 5.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game to go with a 45.9-percent three-point field goal percentage. Her 164 assists to date are a UConn freshman record, and Bueckers is UConn·s first freshman All-American since Maya Moore in 2008 and its third all-time. UConn has had a first-team selection in each of the last five seasons since the USBWA began splitting the squad into first and second (2017-18) and then third (2018-present) teams and has now had an All-American in nine straight seasons and in all but three since 1993-94.
Evans, the lone senior on the first team as well as her own Louisville squad, was the ACCs Player of the Year for a second straight season after leading the league in scoring (20.1 ppg) and was second in free throw percentage (87.3). She guided the Cardinals (26-4) to a fourth straight regular-season title and a third straight NCAA Elite Eight appearance. A second-team selection last year, Evans is Louisville·s third repeat All-American (Asia Durr, 2018 and '19) and Angel McCoughtry (2008 and ·09) and its seventh all-time selection as the Cardinals join UConn and Baylor with multiple players earning All-America honors in the past four seasons.
Howard, a first-teamer last year, is a two-time All-American and was also on the 2018-19 team as the Freshman of the Year. The 6-2 guard from Cleveland, Tenn., is the two-time SEC Player of the Year and entered the NCAA Tournament as the countrys only player averaging more than 20 points per game with at least 7.3 rebounds, 50 steals and 70 assists. A team-best 56 three-pointers bolstered her 20.7 points per game and prompted four games of 30 or more points. Howard is only the third All-American at Kentucky, earning the school's fifth overall award to give the Wildcats an All-America in three consecutive seasons.
Hillman, a 6-2 junior from Cleveland, Ohio, was the Big Ten Player of the Year by the coaches and media and Michigans player first to earn both awards as a unanimous all-conference first-teamer. She averaged 23.9 points (second in the Big Ten) and 11.4 rebounds in the regular season and led the conference in rebounding, double-doubles (12), offensive rebounds (4.9 pg) and free throw attempts (148). She scored 50 points at Ohio State on Jan. 21 and had a 30-20 game against Nebraska.
Clark, a 6-0 guard from West Des Moines, Iowa, is Iowas third different All-American in the last four seasons and its sixth overall. She was the Division I scoring leader (men·s or women·s) at 26.6 points per game and also led the nation in total assists (214), total points (799), field goals made (266), 3-pointers made (116), and was second in assists (7.1) and 3-pointers per game (3.87). She was the only Division I player to record 12 30-point games, the most by any freshman since 2000. Clark is the first women·s player at Iowa to earn national freshman of the year recognition from any media outlet.
This is the first time since the 2005-06 season that two freshmen made the USBWA All-America team, matching Candace Parker of Tennessee and Courtney Paris of Oklahoma from that season. Paris became a four-time All-American and Parker a three-time honoree before declaring for the WNBA Draft. Boston and Howard won the last two Freshman of the Year awards.
Final Four participants from the Pac-12, Arizona senior guard Aari McDonald and Stanford senior guard Kiana Williams, earned second-team honors. McDonald, a second-teamer last year, was the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year and led Arizona (20-5) to its best league finish (second) since 2003-04. Arizonas second all-time All-American, she led the Pac-12 in scoring (20.3 ppg) and steals (2.7) per game for the third straight season, the first in conference history to do so. Williams is Stanford·s 23rd USBWA All-America selection or award winner and its second of the last three seasons. Williams faces South Carolina as the Cardinal·s scoring leader at 14.3 ppg and 2.9 assists per game. Her 81 three-pointers tie for seventh nationally and the Pac-12 Tournament MVP scored in double figures in 26 of Stanford·s 31 games.
Elissa Cunane, a junior center at N.C. State, joins the second team as a repeat All-American. Cunane was the nations top true center and averaged 16.3 points and 8.1 rebounds with 54.1 percent shooting that was 23rd nationally. She was First Team All-ACC and the ACC Tournament MVP. A third-teamer last year, Cunane joins fellow two-timer Andrea Stinson (1990 and '91) as N.C. State's only All-Americans. Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith, the Big 12 Player of the Year and the Big 12 Championship MVP, made the second team by leading the Bears (28-3) in scoring (18.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg) with 55.1 percent field goal accuracy. Baylor has had at least one All-American in four consecutive seasons and in 11 of the last 12 seasons with 15 total selections. Charli Collier is Texas' first All-American in 16 seasons after posting 17 double-doubles (3rd nationally) with 194 field goals made (11th). She averaged 20.1 points (26th nationally) and 11.7 rebounds (12th) per game in the regular season.
The third team has a repeat member in Michaela Onenywere, who joins the third team again as UCLAs second player to become a two-time All-American (Natalie Williams, 1993 and '94) and its second selection in three seasons. The Pac-12 has eight All-Americans the past two seasons and at least two in the past five seasons. The third team also presents some historical markers · senior forward Natasha Mack is Oklahoma State·s first All-American and senior guard Chelsea Dungee is only Arkansas· second and its first since 1991 (Delmonica DeHorney). Iowa State continues to surge with its second All-American in three seasons in junior guard/forward Ashley Joens. Sophomore guard Ashley Owusu continues Maryland·s fine tradition as its 14th All-American and gives the Terrapins a selection in three straight seasons and in seven of the last nine.
This is the first time since 2005-06 for each All-America selection to come from a different school. The USBWA began naming 10 players to the team on the 1993-94 squad, and its only happened previously on the 2003-04, 2000-01, 1997-98 and 1993-94 teams. Four of the All-Americans hail from Texas and two from Iowa. None of the other 10 hometown states have multiple representation.
Following is the complete 2020-21 USBWA Women's All-America Team:
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association, formed in 1956, has named a women's All-America team since the 1987-88 season. The association has also named a national player of the year now known as the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award · 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, which is now named for Tamika Catchings. For more information on the USBWA and its awards, contact executive director Malcom Moran at 814-574-1485.
• All-Time USBWA Women's All-America Teams