Cardoso, Paopao Named to Watch Lists
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball seniors Kamilla Cardoso and Te-Hina Paopao earned spots on the John R. Wooden Award presented by Principal Women’s Preseason Top 50 Watch List, the organization announced on ESPN’s SportsCenter this afternoon. Cardoso is also on the Naismith Trophy Watch List, completing her sweep of all three national player of the year watch lists.
Cardoso emerged as a dominant force in the SEC and the nation last season, especially on the glass. The 6-foot-7 center finished third in the country in offensive rebounding percentage (.208) and seventh in total rebounding percentage (.232). Pulling in 8.5 rebounds per game, she was 21st in the NCAA in offensive rebounds (3.72) and came in 28th in blocks per game (1.94). That production came in addition to her 9.8 points per game while playing just 18.8 minutes per game. Cardoso exploded in the postseason, averaging nearly a double-double in the SEC Tournament (13.0 pp, 9.3 rpg) and capping her NCAA Tournament with a 14-point, 14-rebound effort in the Final Four. In addition to her SEC Sixth Woman of the Year recognition, she was an All-SEC Second-Team selection and an All-America Honorable Mention.
Paopao was a three-time All-Pac-12 selection in her three seasons at Oregon, where she averaged 12.5 points on 42.0 percent shooting, including 38.0 percent from 3-point range. In 2022-23, she helped the Ducks to the WNTA quarterfinals while ranking second in the Pac-12 with 2.3 made 3s per game and fourth in the league with 42.4 percent accuracy from behind the arc. Both numbers were career bests. She complemented her own offensive output with 3.6 assists per game, including a career-best 3.3 average last season. In 77 career games, Paopao scored in double figures 51 times, including 11 20-point games, dished out five or more assists 25 times and led the team in assists 42 times.
So far this season, Cardoso is the Gamecocks’ top scorer and rebounder, averaging 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in South Carolina’s two wins over top-15 opponents. Her 3.00 blocks per game are 15th in the nation. Paopao’s 14.0 points per game are third on the team and her 7.0 assists per game are 12th in the nation.
The players announced on today’s list are considered strong candidates for the 2024 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year presented by Principal. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order the 10 of those 15 player when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during the early round games. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the NCAA Elite Eight round. The winner of the 2024 John R. Wooden Award will be presented in Los Angeles in April.
For more information on 2023-24 women’s basketball season tickets, which start at $55, visit https://thegamecockclub.com/wbb/. To purchase season tickets, visit https://am.ticketmaster.com/gamecocks/virtual-venue/V0IyNA==. To purchase a Community Supporter ticket to donate to underrepresented communities in the Columbia area, visit https://fevo.me/wb24communitysupporter.
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