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 fourth honorees for games ending Sunday, Jan. 24, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week goes to Louisville guard Dana Evans, the organization's Tamika Catchings women's freshman player honor goes to UConn guard Paige Bueckers, and our USBWA women's team citation goes to UCLA for performances in the voting period.
Evans, a 5-6 senior guard from Gary, Ind., averaged 23.0 points per game, and also earned Atlantic Coast Conference player of the week honors for protecting unbeaten Louisville's first-ever No. 1 ranking achieved the previous week. She scored 21 points and dealt seven assists in a 67-54 home victory over then-No. 23 Syracuse and then collected 10 of her 25 points in a fourth-quarter rally including an old-fashioned 3-point play for the game winner with eight seconds left to avoid being upset at unranked Wake Forest.
Bueckers, a 5-!1 rookie guard out of Hopkins, Minn., considered the nation's top incoming blue chipper who already leads unbeaten UConn in points, assists, steals, and three-point field goal percentage, averaged 11.0 points, 7.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.5 steals in a home win over Butler and road win at then-No. 25 Tennessee. Against the Lady Vols, she returned late in the game from rolling her ankle earlier in the fourth quarter and with 25 seconds left in regulation, the shot clock about to expire, and a slim two-point lead, she nailed a long three-pointer to secure the win. She has already won five Big East weekly top freshman honors.
As for team of the week, UCLA played just one game, but it was big earning a close nod from the committee over a No. 4 South Carolina squad that won three in the SEC · by upsetting host then-No. 5 Stanford in the Pac-12 on the play of sophomore guard Charisma Osborne (24 points, 9 rebounds., 3 steals), who had the winning free throws and offensive rebound, and senior forward Michaela Onyenwere (16 points., 10 rebounds). The triumph moved the Bruins up a notch to fifth, matching a previous Associated Press ranking high one week in 2017 and before that back in December 1999.
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)