INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – DePaul forward Aneesah Morrow, who leads the nation in three separate rebounding categories and recorded 27 double-doubles as a second-team USBWA All-American, has won the 2021-22 Tamika Catchings Award as the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's National Freshman Player of the Year.
Morrow will formally receive the award at the upcoming USBWA College Basketball Awards Banquet in St. Louis on April 11, hosted by the Missouri Athletic Club. The USBWA has presented a women's National Freshman Player of the Year Award since the 1991-92 season. Last season, the award was named in honor of Tennessee legend Tamika Catchings, the USBWA's 1997-98 national freshman of the year and a three-time All-American. UConn's Paike Bueckers and Iowa's Caitlin Clark shared the award a season ago.
Morrow, a 6-1 power forward from Chicago, is the only freshman on this season's 15-member USBWA All-America Team. She caught national attention quickly. In her first career game on Nov. 9, she scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds against Texas Southern. In the week of Dec. 12 she earned her first of a record five USBWA National Freshman of the Week honors following an 18-point, 17-rebound game in DePaul’s 94-85 upset at then-No. 14 Kentucky.
On Jan. 30, she scored 22 points and hauled down a Big East single-game record 27 rebounds, the season high in the NCAA. In the regular-season finale on Feb. 27 at Creighton she scored a career-high 41 points and added 18 rebounds. The 41 points were one shy of the school's all time single-game scoring record posted by Beth Hasenmiller in 1991.
As DePaul’s first USBWA All-American, she leads nation in total rebounds (457), rebounds per game (13.8) and offensive rebounds per game (5.8) and is second in the country in double-doubles (27) to Aliyah Boston of Final Four-bound South Carolina. DePaul fell to Dayton 88-57 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, with Morrow scoring 28 points with 17 rebounds and four blocked shots. At one point this season, she recorded 23 straight double-doubles for the nation's highest scoring team (88.3 points per game).
Morrow was a unanimous choice to the All-Big East First Team and its Freshman of the Year, breaking 11 conference records this season. She is the first player to earn 13 Big East Freshman of the Week honors in a single season. She finished the season averaging 21.9 points to go with her 13.8 rebounds for the 22-11 Blue Demons.
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. For additional info about covering the awards banquet, contact Jim Wilson with the MAC (314-539-4488).