STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - Teaira McCowan was named a finalist for the Wooden Award ahead of No. 5 Mississippi State’s game in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament on Saturday.
The senior leads the Bulldogs in scoring (17.3 ppg) and rebounding (13.4 rpg). She entered the SEC Tournament leading the league in field goal percentage (65.3 percent) and ranked fourth nationally. McCowan closed the regular season with 71 blocks which was 16th in the country.
The Brenham, Texas, native was a unanimous First Team All-SEC selection and was named Player of the Year by both the Associated Press and the league’s coaches. She excelled on both ends of the floor and was named Defensive Player of the Year as well.
She is on the watch lists for the Lisa Leslie award, honoring the nation’s top center, as well as the Naismith Player of the Year award, Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award, Wade Trophy and the Gillom award, given to the top collegiate basketball player in the state of Mississippi.
McCowan broke State’s career records for double-doubles (64), rebounds (1,417) and SEC Player of the Week awards (10).
All balloted players have been certified by their university to meet or exceed the qualifications for the Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden when the Award was established. The qualifications include: candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court; candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university; candidates must be making progress toward graduation and have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average since enrolling in their school; candidates must contribute to team effort; candidates must excel in both offense and defense; and candidates should be considered on their performance over the course of the entire season.
Voting will take place from March 19th to March 26th, and voters take into consideration a player’s entire season of play, as well as the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top five players and the finalists for the Wooden Award, which is widely considered the most prestigious honor in college basketball, will be announced following the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament and will be the focus of a 30-minute show on April 3rd on ESPNU at 5:30pm CT.
The Bulldogs meet Missouri in the SEC Tournament semifinals on Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.