The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

South Carolina's Wilson wins Wade Trophy

199 days ago

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina senior forward A'ja Wilson continued to collect accolades for her 2017-18 season, adding the Wade Trophy, presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Wilson headlines the WBCA NCAA Div. I Coaches' All-America team, which includes honorable mention status for Gamecock sophomore guard Tyasha Harris.

"A'ja is a special player and person and a perfect ambassador for women's basketball," South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. "I've had the honor of watching her grow into the player she is today much longer than most watchers of women's basketball, and it is one of the greatest joys of my career. No one is more deserving of the Wade Trophy than A'ja because she has worked her entire career to become the best player in women's basketball. Every accolade that A'ja receives is a testament to her contribution to the game of women's basketball."

After being a finalist for the primary national player of the year awards - Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award - each of the past three seasons, Wilson became the first Gamecock to bring home one of the awards with her selection at Thursday's press conference. She is the fifth SEC player to win the award, joining Daedra Charles (Tennessee, 1991), DeLisha Milton (Florida, 1997), Seimone Augustus (LSU, 2005 and 2006) and Candace Parker (Tennessee, 2007).

Wilson's senior season has been one for the Gamecock record books as she became the program's all-time leading scorer (2,389) and just the second player in program history to amass 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career, joining Sheila Foster (1979-82). She is the program's top scorer in SEC action with 1,020 career points in regular-season conference games and holds overall career records in free throws made (597), free throw attempts (835) and blocked shots (363).

In her final campaign, Wilson led the SEC and ranked seventh in the nation with 22.6 points per game, including 21 games of at least 20 points. She posted 24 double-doubles in her 33 games played, scoring in double figures in all but one outing. She broke her own program single-season blocked shots record, swatting away 105 this season to rank fifth in the nation with 3.2 blocks per game. Her 11.8 rebounds per game are 11th in the nation this season and rank fifth in program history.

Since Wilson joined the Gamecocks for the 2014-15 season, South Carolina posted a 129-16 record. That mark includes a 57-7 slate in SEC action to account for three SEC regular-season championships and one second-place finish, and a 44-13 record against nationally ranked opponents.

Harris was the Gamecocks' floor general this season, earning Second-Team All-SEC honors after leading the league with 6.1 assists per game. Challenged by her head coach to lift her scoring average this season, the point guard did just that, netting 10.4 points per game on 41.8 percent field goal shooting. She posted double-figure points 19 times in 36 games, including six games in which she also handed out double-figure assists.

South Carolina finished the 2017-18 season with a 29-7 record, advancing to the NCAA Elite 8 as the No. 2 seed in the Albany Region of the tournament. The Gamecocks' 12-4 SEC record was good for second place in the conference, and they went on to claim their SEC-record fourth-consecutive SEC Tournament championship.

WBCA Coaches' All-America Team

Kalani Brown, Baylor

Asia Durr, Louisville

Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon

Teaira McCowan, Missisippi State

Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State

Arike Orgunbowale, Notre Dame

Katie Lou Samuelson, Connecticut

Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State

Gabby Williams, Connecticut

A'ja Wilson, South Carolina

All-America Honorable Mention

Kristina Anigwe, California

Ariel Atkins, Texas

Jill Barta, Gonzaga

Kenisha Bell, Minnesota

Monique Billings, UCLA

Allazia Blockton, Marquette

Lexie Brown, Duke

Tyra Buss, Indiana

Jordin Canada, UCLA

Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M

Kaila Charles, Maryland

Napheesa Collier, Connecticut

Lauren Cox, Baylor

Sophie Cunningham, Missouri

G'mrice Davis, Fordham

Katelynn Flaherty, Michigan

Loryn Goodwin, Oklahoma State

Rebecca Greenwell, Duke

Marie Gulich, Oregon State

Megan Gustafson, Iowa

Tyasha Harris, South Carolina

Ruthy Hebard, Oregon

Myisha Hines-Allen, Louisville

Maria Jespersen, South Florida

Kitija Laksa, South Florida

Marina Mabrey, Notre Dame

Stephanie Mavunga, Ohio State

Brooke McCarty, Texas

Brittany McPhee, Stanford

Jaime Nared, Tennessee

Kia Nurse, Connecticut

Caliya Robinson, Georgia

Mercedes Russell, Tennessee

Tyler Scaife, Rutgers

Jessica Shepard, Notre Dame

Azura Stevens, Connecticut

Shakayla Thomas, Florida State

Hallie Thome, Michigan

Carlie Wagner, Minnesota

Kristy Wallace, Baylor

Morgan William, Mississippi State

Imani Wright, Florida State