ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Unbeaten national
semifinalist Connecticut and Big Ten power Maryland dominate the
2016-17 U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women’s
All-America Team, combining for half of the players on
the ten-member squad that has been selected annually for 30
The USBWA group also includes the NCAA's all-time scoring
champion in Washington senior Kelsey Plum and
all but the UConn representatives come from four of the five
Plum, in recently concluding her collegiate career with a
25.4 scoring average – 31.7 this season – finished
with an all-time NCAA-best total of 3,527 career points and this
past season a mark of 1,109 points.
Plum is one of several making the All-America squad who are
frontrunners for the USBWA's Ann Meyers Drysdale Player of the
Year Award, to be handed out Friday at 3 p.m. in the American
Airlines Center in Dallas prior to the national semifinals. The
freshman player of the year and coach of the year awards will
also be presented at that time.
Connecticut’s Napheesa Collier, Notre Dame’s
Brianna Turner, South Carolina’s A’ja
Wilson, Maryland’s Brionna Jones, and
Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell are also in the
mix for national player of the year honors.
At the beginning of the season, in a rarity, UConn players
were missing in citation after graduating three superstars,
including three-time Ann Meyers Drysdale Award winner Breanna
But here we are five months later, the Huskies (36-0) are on
a NCAA-record 111-game win streak and sophomores Katie
Lou Samuelson (20.3 ppg) and Napheesa Collier
(20.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg) and junior Gabby Williams
(14.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg) have claimed USBWA All-America honors while
in Dallas for this weekend’s Women’s Final Four. This is the
third time in four seasons that UConn has placed three players
on the USBWA All-America squad.
Samuelson and Collier are now the highest scoring duo in
Connecticut history passing Tina Charles and Maya Moore. And,
they are also the only sophomores on the USBWA team.
Also in Dallas for the games at the American Airlines Center
is South Carolina junior Wilson (17.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and her
teammates, playing for former two-time USBWA Player of the Year
Dawn Staley, who starred at Virginia. Samuelson's older sister
Karlie is also in Dallas with the Stanford squad, while the
other team is Mississippi State, making its Final Four debut
playing against UConn in one of the semifinals Friday night.
The Maryland part of the All-America group is seniors
Brionna Jones (19.6 ppg, 10.8 rpg) and Shatori
Walker-Kimbrough (18.8 ppg), whose collegiate careers
ended abruptly in a Bridgeport (Conn.) Regional semifinal off
the upset loss to a youthful Oregon squad that was a No. 10
Washington’s Plum heads five returning players from the 2016
group. The others are Notre Dame junior Brianna Turner
(15.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Maryland’s Walker-Kimbrough, South
Carolina’s Wilson, and Ohio State’s Mitchell (22.6 ppg).
The other player on the squad and making her debut is Oregon
State senior Sydney Wiese (13.3 ppg).
All totaled, there are five seniors, three juniors, and two
sophomores on the 30th USBWA All-America Team. In terms of
conference representatio, the Pac-12 boasts Washington’s Plum
and Oregon State’s Wiese, while the Big Ten has the Maryland duo
of Jones and Walker-Kimbrough and Ohio State’s Wilson, the
Atlantic Coast Conference has Notre Dame’s Turner, the
Southeastern Conference has South Carolina’s Wilson. The UConn
trio compete in the American Athletic Conference.
Tthe complete 2016-17 USBWA Women's All-America Team:
2016-17 USBWA WOMEN'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Napheesa Collier, UConn
Brionna Jones, Maryland
Mitchell, Ohio State
Lou Samelson, UConn
Turner, Notre Dame
Sydney Wiese, Oregon State
Wilson, South Carolina
By class: Seniors (4);
Juniors (4); Sophomores (2).
By conference: American Athletic
(3); Big Ten (3); Pac-12 (2); ACC (1); SEC (1).
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association, formed in 1956,
has named a women's All-America team since the 1987-88 season. The
association has also named a national player of the year – now known
as the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award – since 1987-88 and a national
coach of the year since 1989-90. In 2002-03, the USBWA initiated
an award for the nation's top freshman. For more information on
the USBWA and its awards, contact executive director Joe Mitch at
USBWA Women's All-America