EVANS ONE OF FOUR ACC PLAYERS ON LIST
The Wooden Award list was released yesterday and, coming as no surprise to anyone, Louisville WBB's Dana Evans is one of the 30 players named to it. Just to refresh your memory, the Wooden Award designates the top 30 players in women's college basketball. The Wooden Award All-American team is usually announced the week of the Elite Eight in the NCAA Women's basketball tournament.
She's one of four ACC student-athletes to be named to the list. Joining her are Elissa Cunane, the 6'5" junior center at NC State, and two Syracuse Orange players -- seniors Kiara Lewis and Tiana Mangakahia.
Evans adds the Wooden recognition to other earlier accolades. ACC Preseason Player of the Year, AP Preseason All-American, Naismith Watch List and the Drysdale Award Watch List. Through two games this season, Evans is the leading scorer for the Cards WBB squad with 17.5 points per game and 6.5 assists per contest.
Dana, you see, is the one that you have to stop. When other coaches look at their preparations for playing Louisville, I can pretty much guarantee you that "stop Evans, or stop #1" is at the top of their white-boards. As Hailey Van Lith so eloquently put it, and I'm paraphrasing here......"for most of my career, I've been the one that is the "must stop" player on the court. Now...playing with Dana, I'm not seeing those double or triple teams, none of us are, except her, so it really opens up the offense for the rest of us and Dana STILL manages to shine.."
I'll offer this analogy. When people think "Baltimore Ravens" they think Lamar Jackson. When people think UofL men's basketball, Carlik Jones probably pops into your head this year.
The great teams all had "that one"....Sabrina, Angel, Asia, Breanna, Brittney, Maya...We've been most impressed with other Cardinals -- Hailey, Oilvia Cochran, E and Liz and others -- but the Cards and Dana are usually in the same sentence or paragraph when people talk UofL WBB. She earned that recognition.
She continues to earn it.
Dana would defer to her teammates for any successes she's had. It's how she's built. And, yes, she's played with some great teammates in four years. She's made them better, they've made her better and that last observation is the one that counts. When you can improve those around you, and improve with them -- that pretty much is the definition of success.
Getting back to the Wooden List, let's do a little breaking the list down into various numbers and categories, There are 15 seniors, 10 juniors, 4 sophomores and one freshman on the list. By school, Connecticut has four student-athletes on the list (freshman Paige Bueckers, junior Olivia Nelson-Odoba, and juniors Evina Westbrook and Christyn Williams. South Carolina, Stanfprd and Syracuse have two players represented on the list. ,
Conference wise, the SEC has nine players on the list, including Rhyne Howard of Kentucky. Next is the Big 12 with five student-athletes. Four each for the ACC, Big 10, Big East and Pac 12 round out the list of 30.
The first-ever Wooden Award, on the women's side, was awarded to Duke guard Alana Beard in the 2003-04 season. Since then, six players have won the award twice..
As a little, off-the-top-of-your-head test, can you name three of the multiple-time award winners? You can leave your guess in the comments section. You're on the honor system here. No award or prize, just the satisfaction of knowing you know your women's college basketball hoops.
One contest we've been having a bit of fun with is guessing the Cards WBB score on our CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR PODCAST. We've had two such panelist guesses and Jeff McAdams was closest to the actual score in the SEMO game and Jared Anderson got the honor for "closest" in the EKU game. Since we won't be on the air until Saturday, we will do Round 3 here on the site. Just leave your final score for the DePaul vs Cards WBB game in the comments section and we'll review the entries and announce the winner on the Saturday show.
For the record, ol' Paulie is going 87-80 Cards win over DePaul. Just as a preface, I haven't been anywhere close to winning our little contest in the prior two games, so don't look to me as a guiding light, OK?
Just a little fun we can all have at home as we await hoops.
Stay safe, stay sane and healthy,