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March 8, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina junior forward A’ja Wilson added more postseason laurels to her 2016-17 resume after being named the AP SEC Player of the Year Wednesday afternoon. The Hopkins, S.C., native, a unanimous selection for the honor, was also selected to the AP All-SEC First Team. Senior center Alaina Coates marked the other Carolina player recognized, as she earned a spot on the AP All-SEC Second Team.

Wilson, who was voted as the SEC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches last week, ranks in the top five in the conference in points per game (4th, 18.2) and field goal percentage (2nd, 63.5). Her 8.5 rebounds per contest are the seventh-best mark among league members, and the forward leads the Gamecocks with 11 games of 20 or more points this season. Wilson averaged 19.5 points per contest in Carolina’s 10 games against ranked opponents, including a 26-point effort in last Saturday’s SEC semifinals against No. 20/24 Kentucky. She netted seven of her 15 points in the fourth quarter to help deliver Carolina a 59-49 victory over No. 6/7 Mississippi State in Sunday’s SEC Tournament championship game.

Coates has been a consistent force down low in her final season at Carolina, tallying 15 double-doubles during the regular season. The Irmo, S.C., native leads the SEC and ranks third in Division I in field goal percentage (66.4), and her 11.1 rebounds a game also top the league. She has led the Gamecocks in rebounds in 20 of her 28 games played, and two of her four 20-point games this season have come against ranked opponents. Coates’ 1,230 career rebounds and 57 career double-doubles both lead all active Division I players.

The No. 4/4 Gamecocks (27-4, 14-2 SEC) will learn their NCAA Tournament First-Round opponent on Mon., March 13, during the 2017 NCAA Tournament Selection Show.

AP SEC Honors
Player of the Year – A’ja Wilson, South Carolina*
Coach of the Year – Robin Pingeton, Missouri*
Freshman of the Year – Jordan Lewis, Alabama

First Team
Sophie Cunningham, Missouri
Makayla Epps, Kentucky*
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi St.
Ronni Williams, Florida
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina*

Second Team
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Diamond DeShields, Tennessee
Curtyce Knox, Texas A&M
Evelyn Akhator, Kentucky
Mercedes Russell, Tennessee
Morgan William, Mississippi State

* – indicates unanimous selection