From U of L SID
ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – University of Louisville junior guard Asia Durr is one of five standout players representing five different conferences named to the 2017-18 U.S. Basketball Writers Women’s All-America first team. The 31st annual team also honors six players on its second team as there was a tie in the voting. The upcoming Final Four – featuring four No. 1 seeds – also includes five USBWA All-Americans, two from the first team and three from the second team.
Durr, the ACC Player of the Year, led the Cardinals into the Final Four with 18.7 points per game while shooting 41.8 percent from 3-point range. Durr is the third Louisville player to earn USBWA All-America honors, joining Angel McCoughty (2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons) and Shoni Shimmel (2013-14).
Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State has earned her fourth All-America selection and A’Ja Wilson of South Carolina is on the team for a third straight season. UConn’s Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams (second team), are both honored for a second straight season. Rounding out the first-team selections are Durr and Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu.
Mitchell is just the fourth player to be named a USBWA All-American four times, joining Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw, UConn’s Maya Moore and Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris. Wilson is the 17th three-time selection since the USBWA started naming women’s All-Americans in the 1987-88 season.
Mitchell and Iowa’s Megan Gustafson, a second-team selection, shared Big Ten Player of the Year honors. Mitchell was the coaches’ selection while Gustafson earned the media’s vote. Mitchell was second in the Big Ten in scoring at 24.3 points per game. She was the USBWA’s National Freshman of the Year three seasons ago.
Wilson, the SEC Player of the Year for the third straight season, is the nation’s 7th-leading scorer (22.6), is fifth in blocks (3.2) and ninth in rebounds (11.8). This is her third USBWA All-America selection.
Samuelson, the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, is third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (47.4) and leads UConn with 17.5 points per game as the unbeaten Huskies play in their 11th straight Final Four.
Sabrina Ionescu, the 2016-17 USBWA National Freshman of the Year, is the first Oregon player to earn USBWA All-America honors. Ionescu has registered six triple-doubles as the Pac-12 Player of the Year and the Pac-12 Tournament MVP. She led the league with 19.7 points per game to go with 7.8 assists (4th in the nation) and 6.7 rebounds.
The All-America selections, chosen by a vote of the entire USBWA membership, will contend for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the USBWA’s National Player of the Year. The winner, along with the national coach and freshman player of the year, will be announced Friday at 3 p.m. ET in Columbus, Ohio, the site of the 2018 Women’s Final Four.
Williams is averaging 11.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and leads UConn with 184 assists and 86 steals. The second team also includes Gustafson, the nation’s leading scorer (25.7) who also averaged 12.0 rebounds per game; Baylor’s Kalani Brown, the Big 12 Player of the Year who led the conference in scoring (20.1), rebounding (10.2) and field-goal percentage (65.0); Mississippi State’s Victoria Vivians, who led the Bulldogs to an unbeaten regular season and a repeat berth in the Final Four with 19.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game; UCLA’s Jordin Canada, who led the Bruins to the Elite 8 with 17.0 points and 7.1 assists per game; and Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale, who averages 20.7 points per game entering the Final Four.