The first half the 2017-2018 has come to a close and there were a handful of players who made headlines. After a solid start to the season, 25 players have been announced as the front-runners for the mid-season John R Wooden Award.
Prior to the season starting, there was a list of 30 players on the Preseason Top 30 – three of the players up for the award mid-season have really made an impact this year as they original were not on the list: Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M), Megan Gustafson (Iowa) and Teaira McCowan (Mississippi State).
Also representing Mississippi State on the list is Victoria Vivians. Three other schools also had two players to represent their university: Jaime Nared and Mercedes Russell from Tennessee, Ariel Atkins and Brooke McCarty from Texas, as well as, UCLA having Monique Billings and Jordin Canada.
History repeated itself as UConn was loaded with selections in Napheesa Collier, Kia Nurse, Katie Lou Samuelson, and Gabby Williams.
The rest of the mid-season list consist of the following in no specific order:
Kristine Anigwe (California), Kalani Brown (Baylor), Lexie Brown (Duke), Sophie Cunningham (Missouri), Asia Durr (Louisville), Katelynn Flaherty (Michigan), Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon), Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State), Shakayla Thomas (Florida State), Arike Ogwunbole (Notre Dame) and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina).
While majority of the list consist of juniors and seniors, there is one sophomore in Ionescu and Carter who is only a freshmen.
Early next month, five players will be eliminated from the list. The final fifteen players (proving themselves in the classroom as well as on the court with at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA) will make the final poll prior to the NCAA Tournament.
During the “Elite Eight” round of the tournament, the Wood Award All American team will be announced. The overall winner of the accolade will receive her award on Friday, April 6 during the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s.