Baylor Athletics Press Release:
WACO, Texas – The Citizen Naismith Trophy Award narrowed its list of candidates for women’s college player of the year to four student-athletes, and Baylor’s Lauren Cox is among them. Cox, along with South Carolina’s Tyasha Harris, Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard and Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, were named the four finalists.
Cox becomes the fourth Baylor player to be named a finalist. Sophia Young was a finalist in 2006, Brittney Griner was a three-time finalist from 2011-13 and a two-time winner in 2012 and 2013, and Odyssey Sims was a finalist in 2014.
The Flower Mound, Texas, native averaged 12.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.7 blocks in 22 games in the shortened 2019-20 season. She finished her career with 1,570 points, 982 rebounds, 363 assists and 301 blocks in 131 games played.
Thursday, Cox was named Associated Press First-Team All-American. She was named Big 12 Player of the Year, All-Big 12 First Team and was selected to the All-Big 12 Defensive Team by both the Big 12 head coaches and the Waco Tribune-Herald.Cox was also named the Texas MVP by Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball.
Beginning today, fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite finalist through April 1, by visiting naismithfanvote.com to cast their ballot. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall vote. The 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year is scheduled to be announced on April 3, 2020, and the winning player will be awarded with the Citizen Naismith Trophy, produced and provided by Herff Jones, leading provider of graduation and educational products and services designed to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for students. A replica trophy will be donated by Herff Jones to the respective school in recognition of award recipient. The award ceremony will be held on a later date.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club is responsible for the award, which has been given out to women’s players since 1983. The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding on-court performances during the 2019-20 regular college basketball season.
About the Finalists
Lauren Cox, Baylor
- Named Big 12 Player of the Year, Cox was unanimously selected for the All-Big 12 First Team, making it her third First Team honor in her career.
- The 6’4” forward averaged 12.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.7 blocks per game.
- During her four years at Baylor, she has tallied 1,570 points and was only 18 boards away from breaking the 1,000 mark in rebounds when the season ended.
- Cox helped lead the Bears to a 10th consecutive regular-season Big 12 championship and a 29-2 record.
Tyasha Harris, South Carolina
- Harris earned First Team All-SEC honors and was named to the 2020 SEC All-Tournament team, leading her team to regular-season and SEC Tournament championship titles.
- Leading the SEC in assists (5.7 apg), the senior guard is the all-time career assists leader for the Gamecocks with 702.
- She led her team to a perfect conference record at 16-0, and the Gamecocks went 32-1 overall.
- Harris averaged a career-high of 12 ppg and dished out five or more assists in 12 straight games with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.78.
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
- After being named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2019, Howard earned the SEC Player of the Year title in her second year with the Wildcats, in addition to her SEC All-Defensive team and First Team All-SEC honors.
- The 6’2” guard led her team in points (23.4 ppg), rebounds (6.5 rpg) and steals with 62 this season.
- She set a program record with her 84 three-pointers in a single season and became the only player to score 25+ points in eight consecutive games, tying the school record for most points in a single game with 43 against Alabama.
- Howard led her team to a 22-8 overall record.
Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon
· For the third-consecutive season, Ionescu was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and led her team to a Pac-12 Tournament championship title for the second time in three years.
- The senior guard made history as the first Division I player to record 2,562 points, 1,040 rebounds and 1,091 assists in her career.
- Her 26-career triple-doubles set the Division I record for both women’s and men’s players, and she also set a Division I record for single-season triple-doubles with eight.
- Ionescu led the nation with 9.1 assists per game, which helped her team go 31-2 this season and 17-1 in conference play.