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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
|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
|Jordyn Edwards||Sr.||G||San Diego|
|Ioanna Krimili||Fr.||G||San Francisco|
2020-21 All-WCC Women's Basketball Second Team
|Lucie Hoskova||Sr.||G||San Francisco|
|Myah Pace||Sr.||G||San Diego|
|Lindsey VanAllen||Jr.||G||Santa Clara|
|Merle Wiehl||Sr.||F||Santa Clara|
2020-21 All-WCC Women's Basketball Honorable Mention Selections
|Ashlyn Herlihy||Sr.||F||Santa Clara|
|Madeline Holland||Sr.||G/F||Saint Mary's|
|Sydney Hunter||Sr.||G||San Diego|
|Taycee Wedin||Jr.||G||Saint Mary's|
2020-21 All-WCC Women's Basketball All Freshman Team
|Ellie Croco||F||Saint Mary's|
|Ashley Hiraki||G||Santa Clara|
|Ioanna Krimili||G||San Francisco|
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