UConn's Paige Bueckers Named 2021 Women's Wooden Award Finalist

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2021

Connecticut guard Paige Bueckers (5) plays against Butler during the first quarter of an NCAA college basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

UConn freshman Paige Bueckers was one of 15 players to be named a finalist for the 2020-21 women's college basketball Wooden Award on Saturday.

According to ESPN, Bueckers is the only freshman to be named a finalist, while South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston and Stanford guard Haley Jones are the only other underclassmen to make the list.

Bueckers has already been named the Big East Player and Freshman of the Year, joining former UConn star Maya Moore as the only players to accomplish that feat in the same season.

Bueckers has been the driving force behind the Huskies' 21-1 record, which is good enough for the No. 1 ranking in the nation.

She is UConn's leading scorer with 19.8 points per game and is putting up 6.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals per contest, while shooting 53.6 percent from the field and a remarkable 47.6 percent from beyond the arc.

The Wooden Award has been given to the most outstanding player in women's college basketball every year since the 2003-04 season. Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu, who plays for the WNBA's New York Liberty, is the reigning two-time winner.

No school has had more winners of the Wooden Award than UConn, as Moore and Breanna Stewart won it twice, while Tina Charles won the award once.

A UConn player has not won the Wooden Award since Stewart claimed the honor for a second time in 2016, but there is a strong chance that Bueckers will end the drought.

She will look to continue impressing Saturday against St. John's and throughout the Big East tournament for a Connecticut team that looks poised to win the conference title.