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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Women's Naismith Trophy Watch List Released
POSTED: November 17, 2020 -- 10:57 a.m. CT
The 2021 Women's Naismith Trophy Watch List, announced today by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, is headlined by Rhyne Howard of Kentucky, who was a 2020 finalist for the trophy, and the 2020 Naismith High School Girls Trophy winner, Paige Bueckers, now a freshman at UConn. Overall, the list of 50 women's players represents 11 national conferences with the Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC having nine players each. UConn, which has won more Naismith Trophies (10) than any other school, leads the group with four players included, followed by Baylor, the 2019 NCAA Women's Basketball Champion, and Stanford with three candidates apiece.
"The competition for the 2021 Women's Naismith Trophy will intensify as more players enter the competition throughout the season, but these 50 candidates are the early contenders to watch," said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "While last season was unlike any college basketball season we've experienced, we hope these athletes have the opportunity to compete through their entire schedule this season and showcase the full breadth of their abilities and talent."
The midseason 30 team will be announced in early February; players who do not make the watch list are still eligible to be selected for the midseason 30 team. Then, the competition will be narrowed down to 10 national semifinalists on March 2, 2021, and four finalists will be named on March 19, 2021. The winner of the 2021 Naismith Trophy for Women's Player of the Year will be announced on April 3, 2021.
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2021 Women's Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List
|Aliyah Boston||Sophomore||Forward||South Carolina||SEC|
|Sam Brunelle||Sophomore||Forward||Notre Dame||ACC|
|Paige Bueckers||Freshman||Guard||UConn||Big East|
|DiJonai Carrington||Senior||Guard||Baylor||Big 12|
|Jessika Carter||Junior||Forward / Center||Mississippi State||SEC|
|Charli Collier||Junior||Forward / Center||Texas||Big 12|
|Zia Cooke||Sophomore||Guard||South Carolina||SEC|
|Elissa Cunane||Junior||Center||NC State||ACC|
|Rennia Davis||Senior||Guard / Forward||Tennessee||SEC|
|Aleah Goodman||Senior||Guard||Oregon State||Pac-12|
|Vivian Gray||Senior||Guard||Texas Tech||Big 12|
|Arella Guirantes||Senior||Guard||Rutgers||Big Ten|
|Lauren Heard||Senior||Guard||TCU||Big 12|
|Lexi Held||Junior||Guard||DePaul||Big East|
|Naz Hillmon||Junior||Forward||Michigan||Big Ten|
|Rickea Jackson||Sophomore||Forward||Mississippi State||SEC|
|Ashley Joens||Junior||Guard / Forward||Iowa State||Big 12|
|Taylor Jones||Sophomore||Forward||Oregon State||Pac-12|
|N'Dea Jones||Senior||Forward||Texas A&M||SEC|
|Dorka Juhász||Junior||Forward||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Ayoka Lee||Sophomore||Center||Kansas State||Big 12|
|Natasha Mack||Senior||Forward||Oklahoma State||Big 12|
|Olivia Nelson-Ododa||Junior||Forward||UConn||Big East|
|Ashley Owusu||Sophomore||Guard||Maryland||Big Ten|
|Ali Patberg||Senior||Guard||Indiana||Big Ten|
|Chelsey Perry||Senior||Forward||Tennessee-Martin||Ohio Valley Conference|
|Lasha Petree||Junior||Guard||Bradley||Missouri Valley|
|Lindsey Pulliam||Senior||Guard||Northwestern||Big Ten|
|DiDi Richards||Senior||Guard||Baylor||Big 12|
|NaLyssa Smith||Junior||Guard||Baylor||Big 12|
|Taylor Soule||Junior||Forward||Boston College||ACC|
|Jill Townsend||Senior||Guard||Gonzaga||West Coast Conference|
|Maddi Utti||Senior||Forward||Fresno State||Mountain West|
|Hailey Van Lith||Freshman||Guard||Louisville||ACC|
|Evina Westbrook||Junior||Guard||UConn||Big East|
|Christyn Williams||Junior||Guard||UConn||Big East|
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