The Pac-12 attracts some the best talent in women’s basketball because of the reputation of the schools. As the season comes to a close, it is time to recognize the best players in the conference.
Player of the Year: Stanford junior forward Chiney Ogwumike
The Pac-12 conference is full of talented players, but Chiney Ogwumike certainly stands out.
Oguwmike is by far the best player in the Pac-12 and is considered one of the best in the entire nation.
Ogwumike is currently first in the conference and third in the nation in scoring, averaging 22.9 points per contest for the No. 15 best scoring team in the nation. She scores from anywhere inside the 3-point line and is an excellent finisher at the rim.
What makes her one of the best scorers is her efficiency. She shoots a conference-best and nation’s second-best 59 percent from the field.
But it is not just her scoring abilities that sets her apart. She averages 12.7 rebounds per game, good enough for first in the Pac-12 and fifth in the nation.
Chiney can now put her Player of the Year trophy right beside her sister, Nnemkadi Ogwumike’s, who won the award last season and in 2010.
Defensive Player of the Year: Stanford junior forward Chiney Ogwumike
Ogwumike is the best defensive player in the conference for the second year in a row.
She is the anchor in the post for one of the best defensive teams in the nation.
No. 4 Stanford averages the second-best opponent field goal percentage in the nation with 31 percent. It is also ranks No. 15 in opponent scoring average, holding teams to 51 points per game.
Ogwumike is a presence in the interior. She’s third in the conference in blocks, averaging almost two per contest. She also guards the team’s best player every night.
Her long arms and quick instincts allow her to guard multiple positions, not just in the post.
Last season, she was a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Defensive Player of the Year finalist and will mostly likely be in the running for it this year as well.
Her ability to thrive on the defensive end will play a big part in how far the Cardinal go this year.
Freshman of the Year: Oregon freshman forward Jillian Alleyne
Although Washington State freshman guard Lia Galdeira has been widely recognized as one of the most dynamic scorers in the conference, one can’t deny Alleyne as the best rookie player in the Pac-12.
She leads Oregon with 13 points per game. Alleyne has an array of smooth post moves and is deadly with the ball on the elbow because of her ability to shoot.
Alleyne is already one of the best rebounders in the nation as well. She grabs 11.8 per game, which ranks eighth in the nation.
She may be in the running for one of the best single-game performances this season when she scored 38 points and grabbed 27 rebounds against Portland State.
Coach of the Year: Lindsay Gottlieb, California (2nd year)
In only her second season as the head coach of the Golden Bears, Gottlieb helped bring a share of the regular season title to No. 5 California for the first time in school history.
Even more impressive Gottlieb helped end rival Stanford’s 81-game conference winning streak.
It is currently No. 24 in the nation in scoring, putting up 71 points per contest. Cal is also one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, averaging a nation’s fourth-best, plus-11 rebounding margin.
A high-powered offense maximizing its possessions by controlling the boards makes for a probable No. 2 seed for the NCAA tournament.
broke its school-record with 17 league wins and tied the program record with 27
regular season wins. It has been ranked in the top 10 for 14 weeks this year.
Look out Stanford, with Gottlieb at the helm, competition in northern California should be stiff in the year to come.
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