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Wade Watch Includes Gamecocks Boston, Cooke
Women's Basketball  . 

Wade Watch Includes Gamecocks Boston, Cooke

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball sophomores Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke were among 33 players named to the “Wade Watch” list of candidates for the 2021 Wade Trophy presented to the best player in college women’s basketball, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today. The Gamecock pair are two of the eight SEC selections among the 33 players recognized.
A unanimous selection to the AP Preseason All-America Team, Boston is also on the Naismith Trophy and Lisa Leslie Award Watch Lists and a Preseason All-SEC First-Team selection. The recognitions come on the heels of a 2019-20 campaign that saw Boston emerge as the unanimous National Freshman of the Year and the Lisa Leslie Award winner as the top center in the country, putting her in line to become the first repeat winner of that award in its history. Second on the team in scoring (12.5 ppg) with a team-best 9.4 rebounds per game, Boston was the team’s top scorer and rebounder against ranked opponents (13.0 ppg, 10.8 rpg). In those 14 games, she posted seven double-doubles, and her 11 double-figure scoring games against ranked teams included a pair of 20-point outings. Boston finished the season ranked sixth in the nation in field goal percentage (.608) and 21st in blocked shots per game (2.61).
Cooke was named to watch lists for the Naismith Trophy and the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, which recognizes the top shooting guards in the country, and was voted to the Preseason All-SEC Second Team by the league’s coaches. Her freshman campaign was marked by 24 double-digit scoring outings, including five 20-point games. She poured in 13.0 points per game against ranked opponents to tie Boston for the team lead in that stat. She scored in double figures in 24 of 33 games played on the season, including five 20-point games, and shot 35.7 percent from 3-point range.
The Wade Trophy – now in its 44th year – is the oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award in college women’s basketball. The “Wade Watch” list of candidates for the Wade Trophy is composed of players selected by the WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Selection Committee. The committee will review the lsit midseason to determine if additional players will be added based on their play during the first half of the 2020-21 season.
The Gamecocks are slated to open the 2020-21 season on Wed., Nov. 25, at Colonial Life Arena against College Charleston. With COVID-19 regulations limiting capacity at Colonial Life Arena to 3,500, South Carolina has already sold out of tickets for the season, but plenty of opportunities for fans to engage with the team and participate in game day remain.
Fans can join the G-Hive, which this season includes access to live video streams of practice periodically throughout the regular season in addition to three theme-based t-shirts and a facial covering and a 2021 calendar, for $100. Game-day opportunities include purchasing a cutout to sit in a seat at Colonial Life Arena, participating in a Virtual Sellout or supporting the team from home with a Basketball Watch Party Pack, which includes a rally towel, 3-point cards and an exclusive link to watch the team’s intro video. Fans can also purchase a message to be shown on the videoboard at Colonial Life Arena.
2021 Wade Trophy Watch List

Janelle Bailey, North Carolina
Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
Jessika Carter, Mississippi State
Charli Collier, Texas
Zia Cooke, South Carolina
Elissa Cunane, NC State
Rennia Davis, Tennessee
Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas
Dana Evans, Louisville
Vivian Gray, Texas Tech
Arella Guirantes, Rutgers
Naz Hillmon, Michigan
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
Lexie Hull, Stanford
Rickea Jackson, Mississippi State
Ashley Joens, Iowa State
N’dea Jones, Texas A&M
Micaela Kelly, Central Michigan
Ayoka Lee, Kansas State
Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse
Aari McDonald, Arizona
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, UConn
Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA
Charisma Osborne, UCLA
Ashley Owusu, Maryland
Ali Patberg, Indiana
Linsey Pulliam, Northwestern
Maddy Siegrist, Villanova
Destiny Slocum, Arkansas
NaLyssa Smith, Baylor
Evina Westbrook, UConn
Christyn Williams, UConn
Kiana Williams, Stanford