Women’s basketball Pac-12 end of season awards

Kali Bennett looks to pass in a game against Utah on Jan. 21. After being named to the All-Pac-12 Defensive Team and setting multiple school records, Bennett is The State Press’ pick for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. (Photo by Sam Rosenbaum)

In women’s college basketball, there are not many conferences that have a plethora of talent like the Pac-12.

At the end of the season, here are some awards to honor the best players in the conference.

 

Player of the Year: Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Senior forward, Stanford)

When the 6-foot-2-inch forward from Cypress, Texas, posts up on the block, the results can be surprising.

With her athleticism and quick footwork, Ogwumike could dribble the ball up the court from the guard position and have no problem doing it.

In the low block, she makes different plays with her feet that even some guards could not duplicate with the same quickness.

She has driven past her defender and finished at the basket countless times.

The statistics are staggering.

She led the Pac-12 in scoring, averaging 20.5 points per game. She ranks third in rebounding with 10.2 boards per game, and she ranks in the top 10 in the conference in blocks per game and field goal percentage.

Ogwumike led Stanford to another Pac-12 championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

 

Defensive Player of the Year: Kali Bennett (Senior forward, ASU)

When a player breaks two school records for defense in one season, it is obvious they are a dominating defensive presence.

Bennett tied the Pac-12 record for most blocks in a single game and set the record for most career blocks at ASU.

Her timing on blocks was incredible this year. It was almost a given that she was going to finish a game with at least two denials.

But it was Bennett’s defensive awareness and attitude that earned her the award.

Many times, another ASU defender would get beaten, but Bennett was there to back them up.

Bennett’s help defense was one of the main reasons ASU had the second best scoring defense in the conference, holding opponents to 52.8 points per game.

 

Freshman of the Year: Jazmine Davis (Freshman guard, Washington)

Usually coaches and players have scouting reports devoted to juniors or seniors on the opposing team, but when teams took on the Washington Huskies this season, their main defensive focus was Davis.

Davis burst on to the scene and made it known that in her first year, she was going to be one of the better guards in the conference.

She finished the season as the second best scorer in the conference, averaging 18.7 points per game.

With numbers like that in her freshman year, Davis is on pace to become one of the best players in the country, let alone the conference.

 

Coach of the Year: Scott Rueck (Oregon State)

The Beavers finished the season ranked fifth in the conference and had 18 wins.

Oregon State was not selected to participate in the NCAA tournament, but Rueck has done an amazing job with this team.

Rueck took over the program after LaVonda Wagner was fired. A total of 17 players transferred because of the unhealthy atmosphere that Wagner created at Oregon State.

With a small number of players, Rueck had to start from scratch.

His second year as head coach could have been easily labeled a rebuilding year.

The Beavers did not see it in that way, though, and they achieved a great amount of success this season.

With Rueck at the helm, the sky is the limit for the Oregon State program. In the future, it will not be surprising if the Beavers continue to climb in the conference standings.

 

All-Pac-12 First Team

Regina Rogers (Senior forward, Washington)

Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Senior forward, Stanford)

Layshia Clarendon (Junior guard, Cal)

Davellyn Whyte (Junior guard, UA)

Jazmine Davis (Freshman guard, Washington)

 

All-Pac-12 Second Team

Chiney Ogwumike (Sophomore forward, Stanford)

Taryn Wicijowski (Redshirt sophomore forward, Utah)

Markel Walker (Junior guard/forward, UCLA)

Ashley Corral (Senior guard, USC)

Chucky Jeffery (Junior guard, Colorado)

 

All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention

Pactricia Bright (Junior forward, Oregon State)

Kimberly Brandon (Senior forward, ASU)

Rebakah Gardner (Senior guard, UCLA)

Brittany Boyd (Freshman guard, Cal)

Janita Badon (Senior guard, Utah)

Reach the reporter at ehubbard@asu.edu

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