Sports Journalism Blog

By Rebecca Harris | @MsRebeccaHarris

Sports Capital Journalism Program

INDIANAPOLIS — Each member of the 2016 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team received cheers and applause, yet Oregon State senior Jamie Weisner heard a deafening roar.

Waiting only a few feet away from the OSU pep band for her name to be announced, Weisner was met with fist pumps and screams as she walked across the court to receive her award.

Weisner is the first Pac-12 Player of the Year for OSU since Felicia Ragland earned the honor in 2001. She holds the highest 3-point field goal percentage among guards in the Pac-12 at 48.8 percent efficiency, which is the seventh-highest percentage overall in the conference. She is also second in total career points in OSU history.

The other nine members of the team are UConn’s Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck; South Florida’s Courtney Williams; Washington’s Kelsey Plum; Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell; South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson; Baylor’s Nina Davis; and Notre Dame’s Brianna Turner.

“The 10 members of the 2016 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team are well deserving of this recognition, and the WBCA congratulates them for their accomplishments this season,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew in the official press release. “These young women have worked to elevate themselves and their teams to an elite level and through their exceptional talents on the basketball court, they have lifted the women’s game.”

Plum is the first to be chosen for the All-America team in school history. Plum leads the country in points this season and is Washington’s all-time scoring leader as a junior. She’s a key reason the Huskies are in their first Final Four.

“Washington is a great team and Kelsey Plum is the head of it,” said Oregon State’s Sydney Weise earlier in the day.

There are three sophomores among the All-America team’s 10 players — Mitchell, Turner and Wilson. All three made it to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen this season.

Mitchell led her Ohio State team in points per game and steals, while ACC Player of the Year Turner also led her team in points per game. As SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Wilson set a single-season school record with 103 blocked shots.

Davis is no stranger to first-team selections. This is her third year on the All-Big 12 Conference First Team and her second year on the WBCA Division I Team. Helping earn her team a sixth-straight Big-12 championship this season, she scored in double digits in 32 of 38 games.

Tuck received the honor for the first time in her UConn career. This is Jefferson’s second year in a row on the team. And Stewart has been on the team twice before, in 2014 and 2015, in addition to winning the Wade Trophy for the second year in a row.

“Being her teammate is such an honor,” said UConn junior Saniya Chong of Stewart.

South Florida’s Williams set an NCAA tournament record with 31 points in the contest with Colorado State that sent her team to the second round. Williams is only the second Bull to reach more than 2,000 career points and the only American Athletic Conference player to reach more than 700 in a single season. In addition to her athletic honor, Williams is the conference’s Scholar Athlete of the Year.

All honorees were at the event on Saturday, keeping the 42-year perfect attendance record intact.