The end of the 2022-23 regular season has come. With that being said, Chelsea and Derryl, who have covered women’s basketball around the WAC all season, bring us their postseason awards.
Coach of the Year
Derryl – Tracy Sanders, Southern Utah
When the preseason polls came out both her fellow coaches and the media had modest expectations for Southern Utah in their inaugural season of WAC play. The Thunderbirds shattered those expectations (6th by the Coaches and 8th in Media voting) by winning a regular season title and earning a number two seed for WACVegas.
Chelsea – Jody Adams, New Mexico State
This was a really hard decision to make. So many great teams led by so many great coaches. At the end of the day, I chose Adams because she took a team that went 6-12 in conference play and turned it around to go 10-8. The team has so much potential with her at the helm and I’m so excited to see what they do in CUSA.
Player of the Year
Derryl – Breaunna Gillen, Utah Tech
Utah Tech finishes in the top-5 in the WAC in their second full year of women’s basketball at the Division I level. A lot of that is thanks to the senior guard who averaged 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists in conference play. She’ll likely win the conference scoring championship and assist title. Nationally, if Utah Tech’s statistics counted on NCAA leaderboards, Gillen would be 17th in assists.
Chelsea – Starr Jacobs, UT Arlington
The Lady Mavs may not have had the season they were hoping for or that pretty much everyone expected from them. However, Jacobs did anything but disappoint. She was the only player in, not just the WAC, but the entire country to average 17 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and 2.5 assists. That is dominance on both ends of the court. She also had nine games where she scored 20+. She absolutely lived up to the hype. What’s even better is the Lady Mavs are playing their best basketball of the season down the stretch.
Freshman of the Year
Chelsea and Derryl – Grace Schmidt, California Baptist
Derryl – After the graduations of Caitlyn Harper and Brittany Thomas there were questions about who’d step into the void and handle the Lancers post scoring. Schmidt, a freshman from Xionia, Wisconsin, filled the gap nicely averaging 13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in conference play. She has also won six Freshman of the Week awards out of the 16 weeks the award has been handed out so far this year.
Chelsea – Honestly how could you pick anyone else? She won FOTW six times. She averaged ridiculous numbers for a true freshman. There was not a single time she looked like a freshman. I’ve said this before, but she’s without a doubt the most dominant freshman big to come out of the WAC since Katie Scott for GCU in 2020-21. She has a fantastic future at CBU.
Defensive Player of the Year
Derryl – Lizzie Williamson, Southern Utah
Tracy Sanders expected her tandem of posts to be impact players this season but I think a lot of us meant that to be on the offensive end. Williamson, a 6-5 center from Australia, recorded 41 blocks entering Thursday’s finale against GCU and has altered so many shots around the rim. When you add 210 defensive rebounds to her ledger you’ve got the makings of a stellar campaign. On the year Williamson is 13th nationally in Blocks Per Game at 2.36.
Chelsea – Tiarra Brown, Grand Canyon
This was another award that was extremely difficult to choose. There are a ton of basketball players that could take this award. I almost gave it to Lizzie Williamson or Starr Jacobs. But I went with Brown for what’s not on the stat sheet. She was a constant, smothering presence on defense in every single game she played for the Lopes this season. She averaged just under two steals and had 14 blocks on the regular season. Again, on paper she doesn’t look like a defensive minded player. And honestly, I highly doubt she will end up with the award. But in my mind, after watching her night after night, she deserves to be considered for it.
|First Team All-WAC|
|Trinity San Antonio - CBU||Trinity San Antonio - CBU|
|Cherita Daugherty - SUU||Cherita Daugherty - SUU|
|Starr Jacobs - UTA||Starr Jacobs - UTA|
|Aiyana Johnson - SFA||Aiyana Johnson - SFA|
|Breaunna Gillen - UTU||Breaunna Gillen - UTU|
|Second Team All-WAC|
|Molly Kaiser - NMSU||Grace Schmidt - CBU|
|Iyana Dorsey - UTRGV||Iyana Dorsey - UTRGV|
|Addison Martin - ACU||Maleeah Langstaff - ACU|
|Aspen Thornton - ACU||Naudia Evans - GCU|
|Tomekia Whitman - SUU||Olivia Lane - GCU|
|Jordan Harrison - SFA||Chyna Allen - Sam Houston|
|Grace Schmidt - CBU||Grace Schmidt - CBU|
|Maleeah Langstaff - ACU||Maleeah Langstaff - ACU|
|Olivia Lane - GCU||Olivia Lane - GCU|
|Teresa Da Silva - Tarleton||Teresa Da Silva - Tarleton|
|Jordan Harrison - SFA||Jordan Harrison - SFA|
|Grace Schmidt - CBU||Grace Schmidt - CBU|
|Kaylee Byon - UVU||Kaylee Byon - UVU|
|Taleyah Jones - UTA||Taleyah Jones - UTA|
|Addison Martin - ACU||Addison Martin - ACU|