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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|
|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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