INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – For the season’s ninth weekly women’s awards from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, for games ending Sunday, Feb. 5, South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston, the reigning USBWA national player of the year, and Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, a past honoree, share the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week honor, Washington guard Elle Ladine is the Tamika Catchings Award freshman recipient, and UNLV is the team of the week.
The awards, organized under Mel Greenberg, the USBWA Vice President for women’s basketball, are drawn from the weekly conference citations as well as at-large additions.
Each week awards go to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Women’s national player, the organization’s Tamika Catchings freshman player, and the USBWA’s women’s team of the week.
Boston, a 6-5 senior forward from St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., added two more double-doubles to bring her career-total to 76 as No. 1 and reigning NCAA champion South Carolina (23-0) stayed unbeaten and on a program-record-tying overall 29-game win streak. In the home payback to Kentucky for the 2022 SEC title game loss, she had 14 points and 14 rebounds before scoring 23 of her 26 points in the second half and grabbing 11 rebounds overall as the Gamecocks won at then-No. 5 UConn for the first time up north in a national championship rematch.
Clark, a 6-0 junior guard from West Des Moines, Iowa, carried the Hawkeyes back into the AP top five at fifth on an eight-game win streak after two Big Ten triumphs, scoring 42 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and dealing eight assists as Iowa beat No. 8 Maryland at home. She then advanced into a record national career-tie in triple-doubles at ninth, laying 23 points, 14 rebounds, and ten assists on host Penn State, all of which earned her a 17th Big Ten Player of the Week accolade. She is currently second in the NCAA in scoring with a 27.6 average behind Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist (28.3).
Ladine, a 5-11 guard from San Francisco, helped Washington to its first home sweep of Bay Area teams since the 2005-06 season, scoring ten in the win over California and then coming off the bench with a game-high 21 points, 11 more than her previous personal best, in an upset of then-No. 2 Stanford to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Week. She was 8-for-17 from the field with a career-high three steals in giving the Huskies their first win over the Cardinal in seven seasons – also the first over an AP top-five since the same time space when Maryland fell. Her total is the most by a reserve against Stanford since Arizona State's Quinn Dornstauder scored 22 on Feb. 6, 2015.
Apparently the WNBA champion Aces are not the only women’s basketball force in Las Vegas. A year after breaking a two-decade NCAA tournament drought, sweeping the Mountain West regular season and tournamet, the UNLV Lady Rebels are at it again with a 13-game win streak and 22-2 overall record with a four-game lead in standings. The squad is coached by Lindy La Rocque, a former Stanford player and assistant just in her third season. Junior Desi-Rae Young, a 6-1 junior center, the reigning conference player of the year, leads the squad with a double-double average of 17.8 points and 10.5 rebounds.
Since the 1987-88 season, the USBWA has named a women’s 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 the national and weekly freshman award is being given in the name of former Tennessee all-American Tamika Catchings, which was applied at the start of the 2019-20 season.
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 2023 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year and Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA’s annual awards event on site at the 2023 NCAA Women's Final Four in Dallas.
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.