In the 50th celebration season of the Citizen Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the Naismith Top 30 players in consideration for the 2018 Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year on Monday. The Pac-12 leads with seven players listed, while the ACC and SEC follow with five each.
The list of players include Iowa center Megan Gustafson, who ranks in the top eight in nine statistical categories, and No. 13 Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell who is currently tied for second in the nation in scoring, averaging 24.5 points per game.
Mitchell has played herself into the history books this season, breaking the all-time 3-point record and becoming the 13th player in NCAA history to record 3,000 career points in January.
Also making the list are Louisville’s dynamic duo Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen. The two led Louisville to a No. 2 ranking in early January — the highest in the program’s history — thanks to Durr’s 36-point and Hines-Allen’s 31-point performances in a 100-67 win over then-No. 2 Notre Dame. Both players have earned ACC honors multiple times this season and are in position for an ACC title run.
Teaira McCowan of now-No. 2 Mississippi State also makes an appearance, posting five double-doubles so far this season and leading the undefeated Bulldogs to the top of the SEC.
Undefeated UConn has four players on the list: Napheesa Collier, Kia Nurse, Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams.
Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, the creator of the game of basketball, the first Naismith trophy was awarded in 1969 to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Citizen Naismith Women’s Player of the Year Award was first given to Anne Donovan of Old Dominion University in 1983. Former all-time leading scorer and Washington guard Kelsey Plum is the 2017 Citizen Naismith Trophy winner. The 10 semifinalists will be announced in March.