COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina junior forward A'ja Wilson is one of 10 semifinalists for the 2017 Naismith Women's College Player of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday morning. The two-time SEC Player of the Year was a finalist for the award in 2016 and the lone underclassman on that four-player list.
The 2017 finalists will be announced on March 17 with voting on the winner extending through the end of the month, including a fan vote running March 20-31.
Wilson is the Gamecocks' leading scorer at 17.4 points per game and is 17th in the nation in field goal percentage (.591). In leading South Carolina to its fourth-straight SEC regular-season championship, Wilson averaged 18.2 points in conference action on 63.5 percent shooting. She lifted her rebounding average from 7.6 on the season to 8.5 in league play. She has recorded a career-best 10 20-point games this season, including each of the last three regular-season outings. She has been the team's top scorer 17 times and paced the Gamecocks on the glass nine times.
Wilson holds Gamecock records in career blocked shots and is 33rd in the country with 2.2 blocks per game this season, which helped her earn a spot on the SEC All-Defensive team for the second-straight season.
The No. 5/5 Gamecocks open SEC Tournament play in the quarterfinals on Fri., March 3, at noon, taking on either eighth-seeded Georgia or ninth-seeded Auburn, who play on Thursday.
2017 Naismith Trophy Women's Semifinalists:
- Napheesa Collier, So., F, UConn
- Brionna Jones, Sr., C, Maryland
- Kelsey Mitchell, Jr., G, Ohio State
- Kelsey Plum, Sr., G, Washington
- Katie Lou Samuelson, So., G/F, UConn
- Brianna Turner, Jr., F, Notre Dame
- Victoria Vivians, Jr., G, Mississippi State
- Sydney Wiese, Sr., G, Oregon State
- Gabby Williams, Jr., F, UConn
- A’ja Wilson, Jr., F, South Carolina