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.
Siegrist, a 6-1 sophomore forward from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., who was a multi-USBWA freshman winner as well as Big East Freshman of the Year last season, was the conference's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder over a 2-1 week, averaging 24.3 points and 11.0 rebounds, including a 31-point, 16-rebound effort in a win at Georgetown. She also scored 24 points in a win over Butler and 18 points and 11 rebounds in a setback at Marquette to earn her fourth Big East Player of the Week this season. Her 10 double-doubles are in the top 20 in the nation.
Bell, a 6-1 forward and Ohio State transfer out of Alliance, Ohio, in a pair of wins over Jacksonville averaged 39 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 32-for-50 (.640) from the field, including 7-for-14 (.500) from beyond the arc. After setting a career mark with 36 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds and setting a program record with 15 field goals in the first meeting, she topped herself the next game with a FGCU record of 42 points and 15 rebounds to win her sixth ASUN player and ninth ASUN newcomer of the week award.
Clark, a 6-0 guard from West Des Moines, Iowa, earns her third USBWA freshman award exceeded only by Connecticut's Paige Bueckers, who shared the award last week, her fourth straight while also becoming the first USBWA weekly women's co-player and rookie honoree. In Iowa's lone game, Clark had a game-high 32 points against Penn State, her fourth straight 30-point game and eighth of the season, and was 6-of-11 from beyond the arc to earn a record 11th Big Ten freshman honor and second most in-season overall in the conference behind 13 player of the week citations in 2018-19 from eventual USBWA player of the year honoree Iowa's Megan Gustafson. Her eight 30-point outings are the most by an NCAA Division I freshman since Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and Oral Roberts' Kevi Luper reach that same total in 2009-10.
As for team of the week, Oregon State (8-6, 6-6 Pac-12), which had a streak of six postponed Pac-12 games from late December until mid-January under COVID-19 protocols, and then likewise four more, last weekend traveled to Los Angeles and under coach Scott Rueck and swept USC, 77-52, in the Trojans' Galen Center, and followed with a 71-64 upset of then-No. 8 UCLA in the Bruins' Pauley Pavilion led by Aleah Goodman, Taylor Jones, and freshman Talia von Oelhoffen.
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)