The Atlanta Tipoff Club has released a midseason list of the top 30 candidates for the Citizen Naismith Trophy. Names such as Arike Ogunbowale, Sabrina Ionescu, Megan Gustafson and Teaira McCowan headline this midseason list. In the past, players, like A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, and Breanna Stewart have all won this prestigious award. In any event, it is an honor to be mentioned on this list for the Citizen Naismith Trophy.
Here is the list of the 30 players.
|Bridget Carleton||Sr.||G||Iowa State|
|Chennedy Carter||So.||G||Texas A&M|
|Anriel Howard||Sr.||F||Mississippi State|
|Marina Mabrey||Sr.||G||Notre Dame|
|Tynice Martin||Jr.||G||West Virginia|
|Teaira McCowan||Sr.||C||Mississippi State|
|Arike Ogunbowale||Sr.||G||Notre Dame|
|Katie Lou Samuelson||Sr.||F||UConn|
|Jessica Shepard||Sr.||F||Notre Dame|
|Destiny Slocum||So.||G||Oregon State|
|Brianna Turner||Sr.||F||Notre Dame|
|Jackie Young||Jr.||G||Notre Dame|
Ogunbowale is a dynamite guard who is leading the way for the Fighting Irish. Frequently, the 5-foot-8 guard is displaying her numerous talents as a basketball player. Whether its showing her vision with the basketball, sparking the offense with timely baskets or getting her hands in passing lanes, Ogunbowale can do it all.
What has not been said about Sabrina Ionescu that we have not said already. The 5-foot-10 guard has set school and national records and continues to shine for the Oregon Ducks. From getting rebounds to crisp passes for easy shots to scoring, Ionescu is the definitive leader for that team.
At this instant, we know numerous players are coming on strong, particularly players who play on the post. Let’s look at three of those players as anonymous outlines.
|Player A||Player B||Player C|
Immediately, we notice that these three post players are vital to the success of their respective teams. Player A is Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan. The 6-foot-7 senior is a defensive stopper inside for the Bulldogs. McCowan is the anchor for the Mississippi State defense and her 2.7 blocks per game is tied for 7th in the nation with fellow Citizen Naismith Trophy candidate Brianna Turner.
Second, we have Player B. This standout is Kalani Brown of Baylor. The 6-foot-7 senior is a nightmare for opposing defenses, along with teammate Lauren Cox. Brown is a force inside 15 feet and is versatile from the high post area. Her skills at that position make it easier Baylor to be able to attack inside and outside because of her passing skills. Along with that skill, Brown can shoot from 15 feet and expand the offense.
Finally, Player C is Kristine Anigwe of Cal. The 6-foot-4 senior is the more versatile of the three post players. Anigwe can spread defenses out with her ability to shoot from beyond the arc. Additionally, she is the best rebounder in the country at 15.8 per game. Her high motor allows her to position herself for every rebound. To demonstrate her versatility, look at her game against Penn State back in November. Anigwe’s stat line: 24 points, 22 rebounds (8 offensive), 1/1 3PFG, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks. All in all, she will be the most vital player for Cal’s success the rest of the season.
Another name that should be on spectators’ radar is Kaila Charles. She is one of the complete players in the country and is the leader for the Maryland Terrapins. Although we talk about other guards like Ogunbowale, Ionescu, and Louisville guard Asia Durr, Charles can get lost in the shuffle. For the Terps, Charles is the coach on the floor for Brenda Frese.
One of the things she does so well is rebound the basketball. Among guards in the country, Kaila Charles is one of the best rebounding guards in the country at 6.1 rebounds per game. Ultimately, Charles is a better basketball player away from Maryland. The 6-foot-1 guard averages 15.2 points and 6.5 rebounds on the road this season.
The 30 names listed above are some of the best players in the country. We will find out in April who will take home the Citizen Naismith Trophy.
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