ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Five standout players
representing five different conferences were named to the
2017-18 U.S. Basketball Writers Women's All-America
first team. The 31st annual team also honors six players on its
second team as there was a tie in the voting. The upcoming Final
Four – featuring four No. 1 seeds – also includes five USBWA
All-Americans, two from the first team and three from the second team.
Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State has earned her
fourth All-America selection and A'Ja Wilson of
South Carolina is on the team for a third straight season.
UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby
Williams (second team), are both honored for a second
straight season. Rounding out the first-team selections are
Louisville's Asia Durr and Oregon's
Mitchell is just the fourth player to be named a USBWA
All-American four times, joining Tennessee's Chamique Holdsclaw,
UConn's Maya Moore and Oklahoma's Courtney Paris. Wilson is the
17th three-time selection since the USBWA started naming women's
All-Americans in the 1987-88 season.
Mitchell and Iowa's Megan Gustafson, a
second-team selection, shared Big Ten Player of the Year honors.
Mitchell was the coaches' selection while Gustafson earned the
media's vote. Mitchell was second in the Big Ten in scoring at
24.3 points per game. She was the USBWA's National Freshman of
the Year three seasons ago.
Wilson, the SEC Player of the Year for the third straight
season, is the nation's 7th-leading scorer (22.6), is fifth in
blocks (3.2) and ninth in rebounds (11.8). This is her third
USBWA All-America selection.
Samuelson, the American Athletic Conference Player of the
Year, is third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage
(47.4) and leads UConn with 17.5 points per game as the unbeaten
Huskies play in their 11th straight Final Four.
ACC Player of the Year Asia Durr of
Louisville has led the Cardinals into the Final Four with 18.7
points per game while shooting 41.8 percent from 3-point range.
Durr is the third Louisville player to earn USBWA All-America
honors, joining Angel McCoughty (2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons)
and Shoni Shimmel (2013-14).
Sabrina Ionescu, the 2016-17 USBWA National
Freshman of the Year, is the first Oregon player to earn USBWA
All-America honors. Ionescu has registered six triple-doubles as
the Pac-12 Player of the Year and the Pac-12 Tournament MVP. She
led the league with 19.7 points per game to go with 7.8 assists
(4th in the nation) and 6.7 rebounds.
The All-America selections, chosen by a vote of the entire
USBWA membership, will contend for the Ann Meyers
Drysdale Award as the USBWA's National Player of the
Year. The winner, along with the national coach and freshman
player of the year, will be announced Friday at 3 p.m. ET in
Columbus, Ohio, the site of the 2018 Women's Final Four.
Williams is averaging 11.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game
and leads UConn with 184 assists and 86 steals. The second team
also includes Gustafson, the nation's leading scorer (25.7) who
also averaged 12.0 rebounds per game; Baylor's Kalani
Brown, the Big 12 Player of the Year who led the
conference in scoring (20.1), rebounding (10.2) and field-goal
percentage (65.0); Mississippi State's Victoria Vivians,
who led the Bulldogs to an unbeaten regular season and a repeat
berth in the Final Four with 19.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per
game; UCLA's Jordin Canada, who led the Bruins
to the Elite 8 with 17.0 points and 7.1 assists per game; and
Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale, who averages
20.7 points per game entering the Final Four.
The complete 2017-18 USBWA Women's All-America Team:
2017-18 USBWA WOMEN'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon
Mitchell, Ohio State
Lou Samuelson, UConn
Wilson, South Carolina
Kalani Brown, Baylor
Jordin Canada, UCLA
Ogunbowale, Notre Dame
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State
By class: Seniors (5);
Juniors (5); Sophomores (1).
By conference: ACC (2);
American Athletic (2); Big Ten (2); Pac-12 (2);
SEC (2); Big 12 (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