INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) This season the U.S. Basketball Writers Association has undergone an expansion of its weekly honors under a committee headed by Mel Greenberg, the USBWA coordinator for women's basketball, choosing as in the past the Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's national player, the organization's Tamika Catchings freshman player, and new, the USBWA's women's team of the week.
As in the past, nominees will be drawn largely from the conference winners, but now also from individual submissions from the committee into the pool for a final vote.
For the season's third honorees for games ending Sunday, Jan. 17, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week goes to Iowa State guard Ashley Joens, the organization's Tamika Catchings women's freshman player honor goes to Colorado guard Frida Formann, and our USBWA women's team citation goes to Iowa State for performances in the voting period.
Joens, a 6-0 junior guard from Iowa City, Iowa, averaged 28.5 points and 13.5 rebounds, shooting 52.6 percent from the field in two major wins. The Cyclones handed Oklahoma State its first conference setback, and next upsetting then-No. 6 Baylor in Waco. The Big 12 player of the week scored 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the win over the Cowgirls and then scored 14 of her 27 points and grabbed six of her 12 rebounds in the fourth quarter for ISU's first win in Waco since 1997.
Formann, a 5-11 rookie guard out of Bagsvrd, Denmark, averaged 11.3 points in three games, including 19 points in the win over California, but primarily the Pac-12 freshman of the week backed Mya Hollingshed's 32-point performance with 15 points, including five in overtime, at home in Boulder, as the Buffaloes stunned previously unbeaten Stanford, becoming the seventh unranked team in the 45-year history of the Associated Press women's poll to upset the existing No. 1 team.
In another close team of the week vote, Iowa State edged Colorado's upset and Georgia's first win at Tennessee in 25 years for the then-unranked Cyclones' upset of the Bears, ending Baylor's 61-game home court win streak dating to a loss to Texas in 2017. It was the second straight win for coach Bill Fennelly's squad over Kim Mulkey's following the end of the regular season in March when Joens' foul shot snapped a tie with 0.1 seconds left in regulation for a 57-56 triumph ending Baylor's 58-game conference win streak in the Big 12. That occurred just days before cancellation of the Big 12 and NCAA tourneys because of the coronavirus.
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 individual awards, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA.
The winners of the 2021 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 on site at the 2021 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.
2020-21 USBWA Women's Weekly Honors
Week ending Jan. 3: Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA (National); Caitlin Clark, Iowa (Freshman);
· Week ending Jan. 10: Naz
Hillmon, Michigan (National); Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington State (Freshman);
Washington State (Team)
· Week ending Jan.
17: Ashley Joens, Iowa State (National); Frida Formann, Colorado (Freshman); Iowa
· Week ending Jan. 24: Dana Evans,
Louisville (National); Paige Bueckers, UConn (Freshman); UCLA (Team)
Week ending Jan. 31: Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas (National);
Paige Bueckers, UConn (Freshman); Arkansas (Team)
Week ending Feb. 7: Natasha Mack, Oklahoma State (National);
Paige Bueckers, UConn (Freshman); Texas A&M (Team)
Week ending Feb. 14: Paige Bueckers, UConn (National);
Paige Bueckers, UConn and Caitlin Clark, Iowa (Freshman); UConn (Team)
Week ending Feb. 21: Maddy Siegrist, Villanova and
Kierstan Bell, Florida Gulf Coast (National); Caitlin Clark, Iowa (Freshman); Oregon
· Week ending Feb. 28: Iimar'i
Thomas, Cincinnati; Caitlin Clark, Iowa (Freshman); Texas A&M (Team)