One of the more interesting postseason award conversations came to a head on Wednesday as Iowa’s Caitlin Clark was named the Naismith Award winner as the women’s National Player of the Year. The junior guard received the honor over USC’s Aliyah Boston, who was last season’s honoree.
Clark leads Iowa in scoring, averaging 27 points per game, while also pacing the nation in assists, handing out nearly nine an outing. Clark also posted a record setting triple-double (41 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds) in the Hawkeyes’ regional final win over Louisville. That stat line made her the first player in NCAA Tournament history to record a 40-point triple-double.
Boston wasn’t left without a trophy as the senior picked up her second straight Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year honor. The senior forward anchors a Gamecock defense that is allowing just 51 points per game in the NCAA tournament. For the season, USC ranks third nationally in scoring defense, with Boston recording 72 blocked shots and 16 steals thus far this season.
Gamecock head coach Dawn Staley was named the Naismith National Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Staley has guided the Gamecocks to an undefeated campaign and their third straight Final Four. USC will face Iowa in the second national semifinal on Friday night in Dallas. Tipoff is set for 9pm ET.