Kentucky's A'dia Mathies has been named one of 20 finalists for the USBWA national player of the year.
From UK Athletics
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The accolades continue to come in for University of Kentucky women’s basketball junior guard A’dia Mathies. One day after being named to the 2011-12 State Farm Wade Watch list, Mathies has been named to the U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association Midseason Watch list, as announced by the association Thursday.
Mathies is one of 20 players named to the midseason watch list. It is the first year the USBWA has created such a list for the Women’s National Player of the Year award.
A key part in arguably the best start in the program’s history, Mathies leads the No. 7/7 Wildcats in several statistical categories, including scoring, steals, and 3-point field goal percentage. She is also second on the team in rebounds, assists, 3-point field goals made and blocks.
Mathies’ 15.1 points per game and 14.7 points per game in conference action are each third best in the Southeastern Conference. The tenacious defender has recorded a steal in every game but one this season, and ranks third in the SEC in steals per game. Her nine takeaways against Nebraska Omaha early in the season tied the program record for the second most steals in a single game.
Despite her junior standing, Mathies finds her name on numerous top-10 lists in the UK career record book. Currently, Mathies is 15th on the all-time scoring list at Kentucky, eighth on the all-time steals list (third in steals per game), ninth in free throws made and sixth in free throws attempted.
Mathies had a career-night Jan. 12 vs. Tennessee. Sparking the Wildcats on both ends of the floor, the 5-foot-9 guard scored a career-high 34 points on 11-20 shooting, while also grabbing nine rebounds, passing out two assists, blocking two shots and recording two steals. Mathies’ 34 points were the most points scored by a Kentucky player since 1987.
A three-time SEC Player of the Week, Mathies was honored earlier this season by the USBWA, as the association named her the Women’s National Player of the Week after her 23-point performance in Kentucky’s win over then-No. 6/5 Duke. Mathies is also on the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-20 List, the Naismith Award Watch List and the State Farm Wade Watch list.
Mathies is the only player from the SEC represented on the list. Of the 20 players, seven are seniors, seven are juniors, five are sophomores and one is a freshman. Connecticut’s Maya Moore, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft, took home the honor last season.
Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list of contenders for the trophy, which will be presented in Denver, the site of this year’s Final Four, at the USBWA's Women's College Basketball Awards Breakfast on April 3.
The USBWA was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball.
The Wildcats (21-3, 10-1 SEC) play again Monday at No. 11/11 Tennessee. The game will be televised by ESPN2 and will be the first women's collegiate basketball game in 3D as part of ESPN's Big Monday Presented by Bud Light and Play 4Kay telecast.