UConn women’s basketball’s Paige Bueckers earns USBWA’s Ann Meyers Drysdale Award for national player of the year

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Alexa Philippou, Hartford Courant
·1 min read
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UConn women’s basketball’s Paige Bueckers became the first freshman to win the USBWA’s Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, given out to the national player of the year.

This is the third major national player of the year honor Bueckers has earned. She was previously tabbed the winner of the Naismith Trophy and Associated Press player of the year.

Six other Huskies have previously received this USBWA distinction a total of nine times: Rebecca Lobo (1995), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003), Maya Moore (2009, 2011), Tina Charles (2010) and Breanna Stewart (2014-16).

Bueckers completed her freshman season averaging 20.0 points per game — the best freshman scoring average in program history — on 52.4 percent shooting and 46.4 percent on 3s. She made her presence felt all over the court with 5.8 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.

The 5-foot-11 guard from Hopkins, Minnesota, averaged 21.6 points per game in the Huskies’ run to the Final Four, the program’s 13th straight. UConn fell to the No. 3 seed Wildcats 69-59 in the national semifinals Friday, ending the season 28-2.

Bueckers had also previously been named Big East player and freshman of the year; Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player; co-freshman of the year by the WBCA and USBWA; Associated Press, Wooden, WBCA and USBWA First-Team All-American; and NCAA Tournament River Walk Region Most Outstanding Player.

For more of The Courant’s Bueckers coverage:

Click here for our ultimate guide to all things Bueckers

Click here for our by-the-numbers breakdown of Bueckers’ season

Alexa Philippou can be reached at aphilippou@courant.com.