COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - University of South Carolina Women's Basketball player A'ja Wilson has been named the SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
Head Coach Dawn Staley was named Coach of the Year for the third straight season--the first time in league history any coach received the honor three straight years.
Four others have earned the award at least three times, led by Pat Summitt's (Tennessee) eight selections, but never consecutively. In leading South Carolina to a 28-1 record, Staley guided the Gamecocks to the SEC's second-ever 16-0 regular-season record. Her team clinched the outright regular-season championship with three games to play and won the league by five games.
Wilson also was named to the All-SEC First Team along with teammates Tiffany Mitchell and Alaina Coates. Wilson is the second woman to earn both Player of the Year awards in the 13 seasons they've been given.
The awards are voted on by SEC coaches. They were announced Tuesday.
As the No. 1 seed in this week's SEC Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., South Carolina (28-1, 16-0 SEC) will take on the winner of the game between the eight and nine seeds, Missouri and Auburn, on Fri., March 4, at noon in the quarterfinal round. The game will air on SEC Network.