Winthrop senior basketball standout Dequesha McClanahan is among 29 players who are included on the watch list of candidates for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award that recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball, it was announced today by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
McClanahan along with the other candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to award a young athlete that shows the same sort of dedication to the game of basketball as the legendary Nancy Lieberman,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “This award is our chance to recognize some truly extraordinary point guards in women’s college basketball.”
McClanahan is a two-time Big South Conference Player of the Year and was voted the 2014 Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s head coaches and media panel. She is averaging 17.5 points and a league-leading 7.8 assists per game. Her assist total ranks her among the nation’s top five assist leaders. She is closing in on 2,000 points in her career, and she has already broken the Winthrop all-time scoring record for both the women’s and men’s programs.
A Selection Committee made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers has been appointed to review the candidates. The list will be narrowed down to a final 20 in February, and then the final five by March. The Lieberman Award winner will be announced during Final Four weekend activities.
“It’s amazing to be able to have my name associated with some of the best point guards and most well-rounded female athletes at the college level,” Lieberman said. “This is the first year the award is hosted by the Hall of Fame and I think candidates will be even more aware of how prestigious this honor is.”
Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include last year’s recipient Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Sue Bird (Connecticut), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut), Lindsey Harding (Duke), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga), Temeka Johnson (LSU), Kristi Toliver (Maryland), Ivory Latta (North Carolina), and Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State).
2014 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List
Player name; School name
Kacie Cassell, University of Akron
Calli Berna, University of Arkansas
Odyssey Sims, Baylor University
Brittany Boyd, University of California
Bria Hartley, University of Connecticut
Senee Shearer, University of Detroit Mercy
Chelsea Gray, Duke University
Jerica Coley, Florida International University
Yashira Delgado, Florida State University
Damika Martinez, Iona College
Samantha Logic, University of Iowa
Lexie Brown, University of Maryland
Valencia McFarland, University of Mississippi
Ashley Deary, Northwestern University
Tiffany Bias, Oklahoma State University
Fantasia Hilliard, Sacramento State University
Keena Mays, Southern Methodist University
Amber Orrange, Stanford University
Natasha Cloud, St. Joseph’s University
Jamierra Faulkner, University of Southern Mississippi
Ariel Massengale, University of Tennessee
Jennifer Newsome, University of Tennessee at Martin
Jordan Jones, Texas A&M University
Andola Dortch, University of Toledo
Joanna Harden, Troy University
Jennifer Schlott, Utah State University
Chelsea Douglas, Wake Forest University
Rebecca Henricson, Western Illinois University
Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop University
Women’s tennis picked to win Big South
For the ninth consecutive year, the Winthrop women's tennis team has been voted first in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll by the league's head coaches, it was announced today by the Conference office.
The Eagles picked up eight first-place bids and 98 points in earning the No. 1 ranking. Charleston Southern claimed two first-place votes and 90 points to place second in the poll, ahead of Liberty's 74 points. In fourth with 70 points was Campbell, followed by Coastal Carolina with 68 points. UNC Asheville landed in the No. 6 slot with 47 points, while Radford's 35 points was good for seventh. Gardner-Webb was selected eighth with 34 points, while Longwood and Presbyterian College round out the poll tied for ninth place as each school notched 17 points.
Coach Cid Carvalho returns eight players from last year's Big South championship team. Senior Andressa Garcia will lead the veteran squad as she will look to finish her career with four titles and four NCAA tournament appearances. Also returning are juniors Ekin Gunaysu, Camille Amrami, and Monica Aguado, and sophomores Alice Garcia, Caitlin Cridland, Tijuana Uzelac, and Beth Williamson.
Winthrop will open its season at home on Feb. 8 when it plays host to College of Charleston. The Big South Women's Tennis Conference Championship is slated for Monday-Friday, April 14-18, and will be hosted by Gardner-Webb.
Men’s tennis picked third
The Winthrop men’s tennis team has been picked to finish third behind Coastal Carolina and Campbell in the Big South Conference’s annual preseason poll by the league’s head coaches.
Coastal Carolina picked up five first-place votes and 76 points to earn the Chanticleeers their first-ever preseason No.1 ranking. Campbell followed in second place with 60 points, just ahead of Winthrop which claimed two first-place votes and 57 points. Liberty landed the No. 4 slot with 51 points, while Presbyterian College’s 49 points was good for fifth. In sixth with 48 points was Radford, followed by Gardner-Webb with 26 points and UNC Asheville with 25 points. Longwood rounds out the poll in ninth place with 13 points.
Coach Andrew Stubbs’ Eagles will open the 2014 season on Thursday, Jan. 23, at home with a 3 p.m. match against Wofford. The Big South Men’s Tennis Conference Championship is slated for Monday-Friday, April 14-18, at Gardner-Webb.