UConn women's basketball recruit Williams named WBCA high school Player of the Year

Published on Thursday, 1 March 2018 20:40
Written by Carl Adamec

Journal Inquirer

Twenty years ago, Tamika Williams became the first UConn women’s basketball recruit to be named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association high school Player of the Year.

On Wednesday, Christyn Williams became the latest to join what has become a lengthy list of scholastic stars so honored.

The 5-foot-11 guard from Little Rock, Arkansas, is the ninth future UConn player to win the WBCA award. The senior at Central Arkansas Christian School is averaging 25.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game, according to maxpreps.

Other UConn players so honored were Megan Walker (2017), Katie Lou Samuelson (2015), Breanna Stewart (2012), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (2011), Maya Moore (2007), Tina Charles (2006), and Tamika Williams (1998).

Joining Christyn Williams on the 10-player WBCA All-America Team was UConn Class of 2018 signee Olivia Nelson-Ododa (6-foot-4 post player, Winder, Georgia).

Williams and Nelson-Ododa will play in the McDonald’s All-America Game on March 28 at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

Schaefer: ‘It ain’t easy’

UConn completed its third straight unbeaten regular season and 10th overall with Monday’s win over South Florida.

The only other unbeaten nationally is second-ranked Mississippi State. The Bulldogs completed a 30-0 regular season, their first, with a win at Kentucky on Sunday.

“They have done it 10 times, so everybody thinks it’s easy, and they have made it look easy.” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer told Adam Minichino of the Columbus (Mississip-pi) Dispatch. “Give them credit because they have absolutely done it time and time again, and when they do it they make it look easy. It ain’t easy. It’s extremely difficult. It’s just almost impossible, to be honest with you.”

The Bulldogs, who ended the Huskies’ 111-game winning streak in the 2017 NCAA Final Four semifinals, are the third team from the Southeastern Conference to enter postseason play unbeaten.

“It has been 20 years since it has been done in this league,” Schaefer said. “You know what? I am going to say it is going to be at least 20 again. In today’s landscape, where there is so much parity in our game, it is so hard to do. So, again, give Connecticut credit. They’ve done it. They make it look easy, and they have done it several times. It may be easy to them, but it’s not to me. I am so impressed with my players, my staff, with how they have been able to navigate our schedule and this league.”

Gabby a finalist

UConn All-American Gabby Williams is one of five finalists for the inaugural Cheryl Miller Award as the nation’s top small forward. The senior from Sparks, Nevada, is averaging 10.7 points and ranks in the AAC’s top 10 in field-goal percentage (third, 58.6), rebounds (sixth, 7.7), assists (second, 5.2), assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth, 2.0), and steals (third, 2.6).

The other finalists are Shakayla Thomas (Florida State), Sophie Cunningham (Missouri), Jaime Nared (Tennessee), and Teana Muldrow (West Virginia). The winner will be announced March 30.

Posted in Newington Town Crier, UConn on Thursday, 1 March 2018 20:40. Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2018 20:43.