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Gamecock Trio on Player of the Year Watch Lists
Women's Basketball  . 

Gamecock Trio on Player of the Year Watch Lists

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 1/1 South Carolina women’s basketball veterans Aliyah Boston, Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson earned spots on multiple national player of the year watch lists announced today. The Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award preseason watch lists featured all three Gamecocks, while Boston and Cooke also appeared on the Wade Watch List.
The USA Today Preseason Player of the Year, Boston’s appearance on watch lists and as a finalist for all three awards is nothing new for the junior forward who is a two-time Lisa Leslie Center Award winner and unanimous 2021 First-Team All-American. She averages a career double-double overall (13.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg), in SEC games (13.2 ppg, 11.3 rpg) and in 28 games against ranked opponents (13.7 ppg, 11.5 rpg). The only player named a finalist for both the Naismith Trophy and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year last season, Boston was 13th in the NCAA in rebounding average (11.5), 18th in blocks per game (2.6) and fifth in double-doubles (17). Boston already ranks eighth in program history in career double-doubles (30) and fifth in blocked shots (167). Her 16 career double-doubles in SEC play are third-best in program history.
Cooke is also becoming a regular in the conversation about the best players in the country, and she opens her third season in Garnet and Black with Preseason All-America and All-SEC honors. Cooke spent the last two seasons ranked among the Gamecocks’ leading scorers, including last season atop the team with 15.9 points per game.  That number jumped to 16.1 points per game in the NCAA Tournament, helping South Carolina to a Final Four berth and herself to NCAA Hemisfair Region Most Outstanding Player status. With 25 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range against Stanford, Cooke was also on the Final Four All-Tournament Team. She scored in double figures in 27 of the team’s 31 games, including six 20-point outings.
Henderson is the newcomer to this level of attention, but her play last season, especially in the NCAA Final Four, brought her to the nation’s attention. She led the SEC and ranked 36th in the nation in assists per game last season (5.1), a number that went up to 5.6 per game in SEC action. The floor general also ranked third on the team in scoring at a career-high 12.2 points per game. Her 22 double-digit scoring games included two 20-point outings and her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 assists against No. 15/16 Arkansas on Jan. 18, 2021. She handed out five or more assists 17 times in 31 games and finished the season with a 1.78 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks eighth in program history.
The No. 1/1 Gamecocks officially open the season tonight at No. 5/4 NC State. Tipoff on ESPN is set for 5 p.m.
Continue to check and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for the most up-to-date information on the women’s basketball season.

Naismith Trophy Watch List Wade Watch List Wooden Award Preseason Watch List
Shakira Austin, Ole Miss Shakira Austin, Ole Miss Shakira Auston, Ole Miss
Kierstan Bell, FGCU Kierstan Bell, FGCU Kierstan Bell, FGCU
Grace Berger, Indiana Grace Berger, Indiana Grace Berger, Indiana
Aliyah Boston, South Carolina Aliyah Boston, South Carolina Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
Cameron Brink, Stanford Cameron Brink, Stanford Cameron Brink, Stanford
Jakia Brown-Turner, NC State Leigha Brown, Michigan Leigha Brown, Michigan
Paige Bueckers, UConn Paige Bueckers, UConn Jakia Brown-Turner, NC State
Rae Burrell, Tennessee Rae Burrell, Tennessee Paige Bueckers, UConn
Veronica Burton, Northwestern Veronica Burton, Northwestern Rae Burrell, Tennessee
Brice Calip, Missouri State Caitlin Clark, Iowa Veronica Burton, Northwestern
Caitlin Clark, Iowa Nia Clouden, Michigan State Caitlin Clark, Iowa
Nia Clouden, Michigan State Zia Cooke, South Carolina Nia Clouden, Michigan State
Zia Cooke, South Carolina Elissa Cunane, NC State Zia Cooke, South Carolina
Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech Monika Czinano, Iowa Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech
Elissa Cunane, NC State Naz Hillmon, Michigan Elissa Cunane, NC State
Monika Czinano, Iowa Rhyne Howard, Kentucky Monika Czinano, Iowa
Queen Egbo, Baylor Ashley Joens, Iowa State Aaliyah Edwards, UConn
Azzi Fudd, UConn Haley Jones, Stanford Queen Egbo, Baylorr
Vivian Gray, Texas Tech Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech Azzi Fudd, UConn
Lauren Heard, TCU Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington St. Vivian Gray, Texas Tech
Destanni Henderson, South Carolina Diamond Miller, Maryland Anastasia Hayes, Mississippi State
Naz Hillmon, Michigan Olivia Nelson-Ododa, UConn Lauren Heard, TCU
Cece Hooks, Ohio Charisma Osborne, UCLA Destanni Henderson, South Carolina
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky Ashley Owusu, Maryland Naz Hillmon, Michigan
Lexie Hull, Stanford Ali Patberg, Indiana Mya Hollingshed, Colorado
Rickea Jackson, Mississippi State Nyara Sabally, Oregon Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
Ashley Joens, Iowa State Maddy Siegrist, Villanova Lexie Hull, Stanford
Taylor Jones, Oregon Sttate NaLyssa Smith, Baylor Rickea Jackson, Mississippi State
Haley Joness, Stanford Hailey Van Lith, Louisville Ashley Joens, Iowa State
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech Christyn Williams, UConn Haley Jones, Stanford
Ayoka Lee, Kansas Statte Taylor Jones, Oregon State
Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington St. Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech
Esmery Martinez, West Virginia Lotta-Maj Lathinen, Georgia Ttech
Diamond Miller, Maryland Ayoka Lee, Kansas State
Sonya Morris, DePaul Charlisse Leger-Walker, Washington St.
Nancy Mulkey, Washington Jordan Lewis, Baylor
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, UConn Diamond Miller, Maryland
Charisma Osborne, UCLA Olivia Nelson Ododa, UConn
Ashley Owusu, Maryland Charisma Osborne, UCLA
Alissa Pili, Southern Cal Ashley Owusu, Maryland
Nyara Sabally, Oregon Te-Hina Paopao, Oregon
Myah Selland, Soutth Dakota State Alissa Pili, Southern Cal
Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech Khayla Pointer, LSU
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota Nyara Sabally, Oregon
NaLyssa Smith, Baylor Myah Selland, South Dakota State
Jenna Staiti, Georgia Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech
Sam Thomas, Arizona NaLyssa Smith, Baylor
Hailey Van Lith, Louisville
Madi Williams, Oklahoma
Christyn Williams, UConn