INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – The reigning winner, six returning All-Americans and three former freshmen of the year highlight the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Midseason Watch List. The USBWA’s list highlights 21 outstanding women's players from seven different conferences including teammates from Iowa, South Carolina, Stanford and UConn.
Aliyah Boston, a senior forward at South Carolina who won the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award last season, returns to the list averaging just short of a double-double currently with 11.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. She has nine double-doubles, eighth nationally, shooting 55.3 percent from the field. Joining her is senior guard Zia Cooke, an explosive two-time All-American guard and part of a Gamecocks’ defensive effort that leads the nation in points allowed giving up only 44.0 points per game.
UConn has three players on the list – junior forward Aaliyah Edwards, sophomore guard Azzi Fudd and junior guard Nika Mühl. Edwards is shooting 63.4 percent from the field, Mühl is the nation’s assist leader (9.3 per game) who recently broke UConn’s single-game record with 15 against N.C. State, and Fudd scored 90 points in UConn’s first three games (26-32-32) for the national team leader in field goal percentage at 51.7 percent that is also second in assists at 21.2 per game.
The Big East has five players to lead all conferences, including the current national scoring leader, Maddie Siegrist of Villanova, averaging 28.5 points per game, and last year’s Tamika Catchings Freshman of the Year, Aneesah Morrow of DePaul, fourth on the national scoring list at 26.1 points per game. Both were All-Americans last year alongside Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, who sits third on the scoring list at 27.2 points per game and was the USBWA’s Freshman of the Year from 2020-21. Iowa teammate Monika Czinano, 12th nationally with her 62.6-percent shooting percentage, is also on the list.
Two of the Big Ten's four players face each other Thursday night when Indiana sharp-shooter Mackenzie Holmes hosts Maryland dynamo Diamond Miller. Holmes is second in the nation in field goal percentage at 68.4 percent.
Stanford has the two other teammates and returning All-Americans in Cameron Brink and Haley Jones. Virginia Tech senior center Elizabeth Kitley is the other former All-American to make the list. Angel Reese, the nation’s rebounding leader at 15.6 per game, also highlights the list as the third member from the SEC.
Beyond the Big East’s five selections, the Big Ten and Pac-12 had four, the ACC and SEC had three each and the American Athletic and Colonial Athletic had one each.
Following the complete Ann Meyers Drysdale Player of the Year Midseason Watch List:
Aliyah Boston, South Carolina (6-5, Sr., F, St. Thomas, USVI)
Cameron Brink, Stanford (6-4, Jr., F, Beaverton, Ore.)
Caitlin Clark, Iowa (6-0, Jr., G, West Des Moines, Iowa)
Zia Cooke, South Carolina (5-9, Sr., G, Toledo, Ohio)
Monika Czinano, Iowa, (6-3, 5th, F/C, Watertown, Minn.)
Aaliyah Edwards, UConn (6-3, Jr., F, Kingston, Ont.)
Dulcy Fankam Mendijadeu, South Florida, (6-4, Sr., F, Nkongsamba, Cameroon)
Azzi Fudd, UConn (5-11, So., G, Arlington, Va.)
Mackenzie Holmes, Indiana (6-3, Sr., F, Gorham, Maine)
Haley Jones, Stanford (6-1, Sr., G, Santa Cruz, Calif.)
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech (6-6, Sr., C, Summerfield, N.C.)
Ta’Niya Latson, Florida State (5-8, Fr., G, Miami, Fla.)
Olivia Miles, Notre Dame (5-10, So., G, Phillipsburg, N.J.)
Diamond Miller, Maryland (6-3, Sr., G, Somerset, N.J.)
Aneesah Morrow, DePaul (6-1, So., F, Chicago, Ill.)
Nika Mühl, UConn (5-10, Jr., G, Zagreb, Croatia)
Charisma Osborne, UCLA (5-9, Sr., G, Moreno Valley, Calif.)
Alissa Pili, Utah (6-2, Jr., F, Anchorage, Alaska)
Angel Reese, LSU (6-3, So., F, Baltimore, Md.)
Maddie Siegrist, Villanova (6-1, Sr., F, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Keishana Washington, Drexel (5-7, Gr., G, Pickering, Ont.)
The winner of the 2022-23 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award will announced at the Final Four in Dallas and formally recognized at the USBWA's College Basketball Awards on Monday, April 10 at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. She will be joined in St. Louis by the Oscar Robertson Trophy winner as the men's national player of the year. The women's and men's national coaches of the year and the two national freshman players of the year will be honored as well, the winners of the Wayman Tisdale Award and Tamika Catchings Award.
The Ann Meyers Drysdale Award is presented annually to the women's national player of the year by the USBWA. Named for the legendary UCLA guard, the award was first presented in the 1987-88 season and formally named in Meyers Drysdale's honor in the 2011-12 season. Ann Meyers Drysdale played at UCLA from 1974-78, which pre-dates the USBWA All-America selections. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
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 an All-America team since the 1956-57 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).