USC's Wilson Named Semifinalist for Player of the Year Award

Columbia. SC (WLTX) – South Carolina Women's Basketball junior forward A’ja Wilson is one of 10 semifinalists for the 2017 Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year Award.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced their list Thursday morning.

The two-time SEC Player of the Year was a finalist for the award in 2016 and the lone underclassman on that four-player list.

Wilson is the Gamecocks’ leading scorer at 17.4 points per game and is 17th in the nation in field goal percentage at .591. In leading the Gamecocks to its fourth-straight SEC regular-season women's basketball championship, she averaged 18.2 points in conference action on 63.5 percent shooting. Wilson lifted her rebounding average from 7.6 on the season to 8.5 in league play. She has recorded a career-best 10 20-point games this season, including each of the last three regular-season outings. 

The program record holder in career blocked shots, Wilson is 33rd in the country with 2.2 blocks per game this season, which helped her earn a spot on the SEC All-Defensive team for the second-straight season.

The 2017 finalists will be announced on March 17, with voting extending through the end of the month, including a fan vote March 20-31.

The slate of women's semifinalists for the 2017 Naismith Trophy includes:

  • Napheesa Collier, So., F, UConn
  • Brionna Jones, Sr., C, Maryland
  • Kelsey Mitchell, Jr., G, Ohio State
  • Kelsey Plum, Sr., G, Washington
  • Katie Lou Samuelson, So., G/F, UConn
  • Brianna Turner, Jr., F, Notre Dame
  • Victoria Vivians, Jr., G, Mississippi State
  • Sydney Wiese, Sr., G, Oregon State
  • Gabby Williams, Jr., F, UConn
  • A’ja Wilson, Jr., F, South Carolina

The Gamecocks open SEC Tournament play in the quarterfinals at Noon on Friday, March 3, taking on either eighth-seeded Georgia or ninth-seeded Auburn, which play on Thursday.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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