ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers
Association has selected Rutgers forward/guard Betnijah
its Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week
for games ending the week of Sunday, Jan. 11. The USBWA's weekly
honor will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 17 this season.
As the Big Ten Conference Co-Player of the Week,
nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by Mel Greenberg,
the USBWA coordinator for women's basketball, from a list of Division
I conference players of the week.
Laney, a 6-0 senior forward/guard from Clayton, Del.,
averaged 19.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals
in wins over Michigan and Penn State. In the 81-68 victory over
Michigan, which snapped a three-game home losing streak, Laney
had her 11th double-double of the season with 20 points and 10
rebounds. She also tied career-highs with seven assists and five
steals. On the road at Penn State in a 71-51 win, Laney recorded
18 points and nine rebounds. On the season, Laney is averaging
16.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.
Since the 1987-88 season, the USBWA has named a National Player
of the Year. At the Women's NCAA Final Four in Denver, 2012, the
organization announced going forward that the national and weekly
player award has been named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American
Ann Meyers Drysdale. At the conclusion of the regular season, the
USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the
entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2015 Ann Meyers
Drysdale National Player of the Year will be announced and presented
at the USBWA's annual awards event in Tampa, site of the 2015 NCAA
Women's Final Four.
other women's awards are also to be announced later this season
associated with more famous names in women's basketball history.
Also in 2012 in Denver, it was also announced that former Tennessee
coach Pat Summitt, who was the female recipient of the Most Courageous
Award for her battle against early onset dementia, Alzheimer type,
would have that award named in her honor.
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 Joe Mitch at
2014-15 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Players of the Week
• Week ending Dec. 7: Morgan Tuck, Connecticut (American Athletic Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 14: Tabitha Richardson-Smith, Seton Hall (Big East Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 21: Alie Decker, Wichita State (Missouri Valley Conference)
• Week ending Dec. 28: Kim Pierre-Louis, UMass (Atlantic 10 Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 4: Blake Dietrick, Princeton (Ivy League)
• Week ending Jan. 11: Betnijah Laney, Rutgers (Big Ten Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 18: Danielle Ballard, LSU (Southeastern Conference)
• Week ending Jan. 25: Cheyenne Parker, Middle Tennessee (Conference USA)
• Week ending Feb. 1: Jillian Alleyne, Oregon (Pac-12 Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 8: Jonquel Jones, George Washington (Atlantic 10 Conference)
• Week ending Feb. 15: Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut (American Athletic Conference)