Stanford's Brink headlines Ann Meyers Drysdale National Players of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – With so many conference standings on the women’s side showing a large number of teams from the top to the middle only a few games apart, stretch drives to the end of the regular season are becoming mini-tournaments determining the makeup of the actual league tournaments that will ultimately determine whose tickets get punched for the annual dance of March Madness.

Also, voting on All-America teams once you're past some obvious frontrunners may be the most difficult task ever this season.

As helpful as the expansion to a five-player group for weekly USBWA honors has been this season, one could add an additional honor roll that would be loaded with more quality performances that could easily be interchangeable with the five selections.

Super Bowl Sunday came out super short for then-No. 2 Iowa and multi-USBWA honoree Caitlin Clark, the reigning national player of the year. At Nebraska, the Hawkeyes were comfortably ahead by 14 entering the fourth quarter and the senior guard was within eight of setting the new NCAA career scoring record. But she was unknowingly done putting points on the board, going 0-for-6 from the field as Iowa suffered an 82-79 upset on Jaz Shelley’s go-ahead 3-pointer with 32 seconds left plus a four foul shots. Clark and Kate Martin both missed threes that would have put the game into overtime.

Clark did reach 1,000 career assists and then five more to become the only known Division I men’s or women’s player with 3,000 points and 1,000 helpers, though assists did not become an official NCAA statistic until 1982-83, the second season of women’s competition under the organization.

The consolation from the loss is the next game for Clark is at home at 8 p.m. ET Thursday on Peacock.

The USBWA women’s awards, organized under Mel Greenberg, the USBWA Vice President for women’s basketball, are drawn from weekly conference honors as well as at-large additions.

For their performances in the period through Sunday, Feb. 11, this week’s five Ann Meyers Drysdale national honorees are Stanford forward Cameron Brink, Syracuse guard Dyaisha Fair, Virginia Tech center Elizabeth Kitley, Indiana guard Chloe Moore-McNeil, and Iowa forward Hannah Stuelke.

The Tamika Catchings freshman award goes to Purdue forward Mary Ashley Stevenson and the National Team of the Week is Oregon State.

Brink, a 6-4 senior forward from Beaverton, Ore., and a previous USBWA honoree, was instrumental in a road sweep of Washington and Washington State that drove Stanford (22-3, 11-2) to the top of the Pac-12 as well as from sixth to third in this week’s Associated Press women’s poll. Hall of Fame Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer extended her record collegiate win total to 1,208. In a 63-59 triumph in overtime at Washington, Brink was 8-for-15 from the field and scored 22 points with nine rebounds and six blocks. She followed in Sunday’s 73-58 win at Washington State with 21 points, 11 rebounds and five steals.

Fair, a 5-5 graduate guard from Rochester, N.Y., who followed coach Felicia Legette-Jack from Buffalo to Syracuse, is also an earlier USBWA honoree. She helped the Orange (20-4, 10-3) get within a game of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference in a 2-0 week, scoring 17 points, dealing four assists and grabbing five rebounds in a 62-59 win over Georgia Tech. She then led a narrow 73-72 upset of then-No. 15 Louisville, scoring 29 points – including five treys – dealing four assists, grabbing six rebounds and sinking the winning foul shots at the end of regulation.

Kitley, a 6-6 graduate center from Summerfield, N.C., and also previous USBWA honoree, enabled the Hokies (20-4, 11-2) to move to the top of the ACC and from 16th to 12th in Monday’s poll by first completing a sweep of then-third-ranked NC State, 72-61, scoring 25 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, shooting 12-for-24 from the field. Then, in a 74-63 win at home over Boston College, she was 9-for-14 from the field, scored 24 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and on Monday the reigning ACC Player of the Year from the conference champs picked up another ACC weekly player award.

Moore-McNeil, a 5-11 senior guard from Greenfield, Tenn., helped No. 14 Indiana (20-3, 11-2) to a 2-0 week and now sharing second place in the Big Ten with Iowa. In a win over Michigan State, Moore-McNeil got a triple-double of 10 points off 4-of-8 from the field, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Then, in a lopsided 95-62 win over Purdue, she was 8-for-11 from the field, including sinking all five 3-point attempts as part of 22 points to go with five rebounds and five steals.

Stuelke, a 6-2 sophomore forward from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, stole Clark’s countdown thunder against visiting Penn State in a 111-93 victory shooting 17-for-20 from the field and scoring 47 points. In the loss to Nebraska, she scored 15 points, shooting 7-for-11 from the field with six rebounds.

Stevenson, a 6-2 frosh forward from New York City. had her biggest week as a member of the Boilermakers. In a 77-72 overtime win against Illinois, she was 8-for-15 from the field for 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds. In Sunday’s loss to Indiana, she performed well shooting 7-for-9 from the field, scoring 16 points. On Monday, the Big Ten made her its Co-Freshman of the Week.

Oregon State (20-3, 9-3) has been on an 8-of-9 tear, moving to third place in the Pac-12 and having beaten its two ranked teams on the road last weekend. The Beavers, who moved up to 11th from 17th Monday, beat then-No. 20 Utah, 58-44, as Raegan Beers had 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field with eight rebounds. Utah’s 44 points were a season low. Finishing the weekend, the Beavers gained a first-ever top-five road win, beating then-No. 3 Colorado, 65-59, in Boulder as Beers had 12 points and 12 rebounds with four assists and three blocks while Talia von Oelhoffen added 18. Beers on Monday received the Pac-12 Player of the Week award.

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 2024 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 2024 NCAA Women's Final Four in Cleveland.

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.

2023-24 USBWA Women's Weekly Honors 
• Week ending Nov. 12: Caitlin Clark, Iowa; Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina; Saniya Rivers, NC State; Kiki Iriafen, Stanford; Liza Karlen, Marquette (National); JuJu Watkins, Southern Cal (Freshman); Colorado (Team)
• Week ending Nov. 19: Cameron Brink, Stanford; Taylor Jones, Texas; Ayoka Lee, Kansas State; Lucy Olsen, Villanova; Harmoni Turner, Harvard (National); Hannah Hidalgo, Notre Dame (Freshman); Baylor (Team)
• Week ending Nov. 26: River Baldwin, NC State; Caitlin Clark, Iowa; Maggie Doogan, Richmond; Aneesah Morrow, LSU; KiKi Rice, UCLA (National); Zanai Barnett-Gay, Navy (Freshman); Princeton (Team)
• Week ending Dec. 3: Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina; Yvonne Ejim, Gonzaga; Rori Harmon, Texas; Cottie McMahon, Ohio State; Anne Simon, Maine (National); Madison Booker, Texas (Freshman); Southern Miss (Team)
• Week ending Dec. 10: Lauren Betts, UCLA; Paige Bueckers, UConn; Jalynn Gregory, MTSU; Quinesha Lockett, Toledo; Alssa Pili, Utah (National); Zoe Brooks, NC State (Freshman); Washington (Team)
• Week ending Dec. 17: Azana Baines, Seton Hall; Breanna Campbell, Marshall; Jessika Carter, Mississippi State; Aubrey Griffin, UConn; Liz Karlen, Marquette (National) Mikaylah Williams, LSU (Freshman); VCU (Team)
• Week ending Dec. 24: Alexis Andrews, Charleston; Talya Brugler, Saint Joseph’s; Caitlin Clark, Iowa; McKenzie Forbes, Southern Cal; Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State (National); Hannah Hidalgo, Notre Dame (Freshman); TCU (Team)
• Week ending Dec. 31: Caitlin Clark, Iowa; Londynn Jones, UCLA; Lucy Olsen, Villanova; Jaylyn Sherrod, Colorado; Alyssa Ustby, North Carolina (National); Mataya Gayle, Penn (Freshman); Syracuse (Team)
• Week ending Jan. 7: Madison Booker, Texas; Avery Brittingham, UT-Arlington; Caitlin Clark, Iowa; Rickea Jackson, Tennessee; Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech (National); Meghan Andersen, Fairfield (Freshman); North Carolina (Team)
• Week ending Jan. 14: Sara Bejedi, Florida State; Anastasiia Boldyreva, MTSU; Caitlin Clark, Iowa; Ayoka Lee, Kansas State; Honesty Scott-Grayson, Auburn (National); JuJu Watkins, Southern Cal (Freshman); Iowa State (Team)
• Week ending Jan. 21: Abby Beeman, Marshall; Paige Bueckers, UConn; Dyaisha Fair, Syracuse Deja Kelly, North Carolina; Cotie McMahon, Ohio State (National); Kymora Johnson, Virginia (Freshman); Stanford, (Team)
• Week ending Jan. 28: Caitlin Clark, Iowa; Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina; McKenna Marisa, Penn State; JJ Quinerly, West Virginia; Skylar Vann, Oklahoma (National); Hannah Hidalgo, Notre Dame (Freshman); Oregon State (Team)
• Week ending Feb. 4: Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech; Madison Booker, Texas; Caitlin Clark, Iowa; Aaliyah Edwards, UConn; Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State (National); JuJu Watkins (Freshman); Mississippi State (Team)
• Week ending Feb. 11: Cameron Brink, Stanford; Dyaisha Fair, Syracuse; Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech; Chloe Moore-McNeil, Indiana; Hannah Stuelke, Iowa (National); Mary Ashley Stevenson, Purdue (Freshman); Oregon State (Team)