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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Nancy Mulkey Selected to Naismith Trophy Watch List

Posted: November 17, 2020 -- 12:08 p.m. CT

Rice senior center Nancy Mulkey has been named as one of 50 watch list candidates for the 2021 Women's Naismith Trophy.

Also selected to the Lisa Leslie Award Watch List last week, Mulkey was voted this year's Conference USA Co-Preseason Player of the Year and named to the C-USA Preseason Team. The two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year ranked fifth in the NCAA last season in blocks per game (3.21) and earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team for a second straight season after averaging 12.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks during league play.

Mulkey becomes the second Owl in as many years to be named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List after former teammate Erica Ogwumike accomplished the feat last year.

"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
Chelsea Dungee Senior Guard Arkansas SEC
Dana Evans Senior Guard Louisville ACC
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
Rhyne Howard Junior Guard Kentucky SEC
Lexie Hull Junior Guard Stanford Pac-12
Rickea Jackson Sophomore Forward Mississippi State SEC
Ashley Joens Junior Guard / Forward Iowa State Big 12
Taylor Jones Sophomore Forward Oregon State Pac-12
Haley Jones Sophomore Guard Stanford 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
Kiara Lewis Senior Guard Syracuse ACC
Natasha Mack Senior Forward Oklahoma State Big 12
Tiana Mangakahia Senior Guard Syracuse ACC
Aari McDonald Senior Guard Arizona Pac-12
Nancy Mulkey Senior Center Rice C-USA
Olivia Nelson-Ododa Junior Forward UConn Big East
Michaela Onyenwere Senior Forward UCLA Pac-12
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
Alissa Pili Sophomore Forward USC Pac-12
Lindsey Pulliam Senior Guard Northwestern Big Ten
Cate Reese Junior Forward Arizona Pac-12
DiDi Richards Senior Guard Baylor Big 12
Destiny Slocum Senior Guard Arkansas SEC
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
Kiana Williams Senior Guard Stanford Pac-12
Christyn Williams Junior Guard UConn Big East

CLICK HERE for more news and info about the Rice Owls men's basketball team.

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