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Cooke Named to Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List
Women's Basketball  . 

Cooke Named to Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina sophomore guard Zia Cooke was named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today. Named after the first player, male or female, named to an All-America Team in four straight college seasons, the annual award in its fourth season recognizes the top shooting guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
Cooke turned in an explosive freshman season that saw her start every game at shooting guard. She was an honorable mention on the 2020 Her Hoop Stats Fab 15 Freshmen and was an SEC All-Freshman Team selection. Her 33 starts gave her a share of the program’s record for games started by a freshman, and she went on to post program freshman-best marks for field goal attempts in a game, 3-point field goal percentage in a game and free throw percentage in a game. Her 12.0 points per game were third on the team and 24th in the SEC. That scoring average rose to 13.8 in SEC play and 13.0 in 14 games against nationally ranked opponents. She led the team or tied for the team lead in eight SEC games, scoring in double figures in 13 of the 16 conference outings, including four 20-point SEC contests. Cooke added 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game for the season as well.
College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In early February, the watch list of 20 players for thee Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In early March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Meyers Drysdale and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
The winner of the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award will be presented on Fri., Apr. 9, 2021, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award, and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.
The Gamecocks are slated to open the 2020-21 season on Wed., Nov. 25, at Colonial Life Arena against College Charleston. Non-conference tipoff times and the SEC schedule will be announced soon.
Stay tuned to and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for more information on the 2020-21 season ahead.
2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Candidates

Aari McDonald, Arizona
Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas
DiJonai Carrington, Baylor
Christyn Williams, UConn
Sonya Morris, DePaul
Jill Townsend, Gonzaga
Nicole Cardano-Hillary, Indiana
Dana Evans, Louisville
Ashley Owusu, Maryland
Lindsey Pulliam, Northwestern
Taylor Robertson, Oklahoma
Taylor Mikesell, Oregon
Arella Guirantes, Rutgers
Zia Cooke, South Carolina
Kiana Williams, Stanford
Kiara Lewis, Syracuse
Destiny Pitts, Texas A&M
Charisma Osborne, UCLA
Brynna Maxwell, Utah