Josh Carter | Posted: 2 Mar 2021 | Updated: 23 Mar 2021

Judkins, Gonzales, four additional Cougars garner WCC honors

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SAN MATEO, Calif. — BYU women's basketball sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales was named 2020-21 West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Year while head coach Jeff Judkins was named WCC Coach of the Year, the league announced Tuesday. 

Gonzales was one of three Cougars named to the 2020-21 All-WCC First Team. Senior guard Paisley Johnson Harding and sophomore forward Lauren Gustin also garnered All-WCC First Team honors. Additionally, graduate transfer guard Tegan Graham and senior center Sara Hamson were named All-WCC honorable mention.

Shaylee Gonzales

Gonzales, the 2018-19 WCC Newcomer of the Year, shared WCC Co-Player of the Year honors with senior forward Jenn Wirth of Gonzaga. Gonzales started in all 21 of BYU’s regular season contests and averaged 18.5 points on 47.1% shooting, 5.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.4 steals per game. The sophomore sensation showed little sign of rust after missing all of last season with an ACL injury, dropping 30 points in the Cougars’ season-opener versus LSU and scoring at least 20 in 10 of BYU’s matchups. Gonzales garnered a pair of WCC Player of the Week honors during the season and finished in the top-10 in the conference in scoring, field-goal percentage, assists, steals and 3-pointers per game. 

Gonzales is the sixth BYU player and first since Cassie Broadhead in 2017 to earn WCC Player of the Year honors.

Jeff Judkins

Judkins is the WCC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career after leading BYU to a 17-4 regular season record (13-3 WCC) in his 20th season at the helm of the Cougar program. Judkins engineered a balanced BYU team that finished in the top three in a number of major conference statistical categories, including scoring offense (69.9 ppg), scoring defense (60.1 ppg), scoring margin (+9.7), field goal percentage (.449) and field-goal percentage defense (.362). Judkins, who also won three Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year awards before BYU’s move to the WCC in 2011, helped the Cougars navigate a season of uncertainty on their way to a No. 2 finish in the league’s regular season standings.

Paisley Johnson Harding

Harding is an All-WCC First Team member for the second time in her career after posting a 13.7 point-per-game average on the season. The senior guard averaged 3.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds while starting in all 21 of the Cougars’ regular season contests. Harding, who scored a season-high 28 points against Saint Mary’s on Feb. 13, anchored one of the most dominant backcourts in the conference along with Gonzales.

Lauren Gustin

Gustin earns her first All-WCC First Team honor in her first season on the court for BYU after averaging a double-double on the season with 12.9 rebounds and 11.8 points per game. The junior college transfer is the nation’s third-leading rebounder and led the WCC with 13 double-doubles in 20 games. Gustin’s most dominant performance of the season came against Pepperdine on Feb. 4, when the sophomore forward racked up 27 points and 20 rebounds in 32 minutes of action.

Sara Hamson

Hamson, a two-time WCC Defensive Player of the Year, earns All-WCC honors for the third time in her career. The senior center averaged a league-leading 2.62 blocks per contest to go along with 5.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Hamson, whose 379 career blocks is the most among active players in the NCAA, passed her older sister, Jennifer, for the No. 2 spot on BYU’s all-time career blocks list this season.

Tegan Graham

Graham is an All-WCC Honorable Mention after posting averages of 7.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists off the bench this season. The graduate transfer from Colgate University shot 48.8% from the floor on the season and 44% from three, knocking down 1.6 triples per contest. Graham provided a noticeable spark for BYU off the bench throughout the year, also averaging 0.7 steals and 0.5 blocks per game.  

Additional individual 2020-21 All-WCC awards include Pacific’s Valerie Higgins as Defensive Player of the Year, San Francisco’s Ioanna Krimili as Newcomer of the Year and Gonzaga’s Melody Kempton as Sixth Woman of the Year.

All four individual awards, along with the All-WCC Teams and the All-Freshman Team, were voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches.

2020-21 All-WCC Women's Basketball Major Individual Honors

Award Name School
Co-Player of the Year Shaylee Gonzales BYU
Co-Player of the Year Jenn Wirth Gonzaga
Coach of the Year Jeff Judkins BYU
Defensive Player of the Year Valerie Higgins Pacific
Newcomer of the Year Ioanna Krimili San Francisco
Sixth Woman of the Year Melody Kempton Gonzaga

2020-21 All-WCC Women's Basketball First Team

Name Year Pos. School
Haylee Andrews Jr. G Portland
Jordyn Edwards Sr. G San Diego
Alex Fowler So.  F Portland
Shaylee Gonzales So. G BYU
Lauren Gustin So. F BYU
Paisley Harding Sr. G BYU
Valerie Higgins Sr. G Pacific
Ioanna Krimili Fr. G San Francisco
Jill Townsend Sr. G Gonzaga
Jenn Wirth Sr.  F Gonzaga

2020-21 All-WCC Women's Basketball Second Team

Name Year Pos. School
Lucie Hoskova Sr.  G San Francisco
Ariel Johnson Jr. G LMU
Myah Pace Sr. San Diego
Lindsey VanAllen Jr. G Santa Clara
Merle Wiehl Sr. F Santa Clara

2020-21 All-WCC Women's Basketball Honorable Mention Selections

Name Year Pos. School
Malia Bambrick Jr. G Pepperdine
Tegan Graham Sr. G BYU
Sara Hamson Sr. C BYU
Ashlyn Herlihy Sr. F Santa Clara
Madeline Holland Sr. G/F Saint Mary's
Sydney Hunter Sr. G San Diego
Melody Kempton Jr. F Gonzaga
Brooklyn McDavid Sr. F Pacific
Lianna Tillman Sr. G Pacific
Kayleigh Truong So. G Gonzaga
Taycee Wedin Jr. G Saint Mary's
LeeAnne Wirth Sr. F Gonzaga

2020-21 All-WCC Women's Basketball All Freshman Team

Name Pos. School
Erica Adams G Pacific
Ellie Croco F Saint Mary's
Ashley Hiraki G Santa Clara
Ioanna Krimili G San Francisco
Emme Shearer Portland