WBB

The 2020 Unofficial Atlantic 10 WBB Panel Awards

Earlier Thursday afternoon, the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball postseason awards were named as voted on by all 14 coaches. In advance of the coaches picking their collective Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Awards, both a10talk and Pittsburgh Sports Now’s Zachary Weiss offered his selections as well, but this year, he decided to switch up the format.

Instead of just one person getting a chance to be judge and jury, a total of 16 individuals voted, with at least one representing each team in the conference.

The format was a ballot sent to everyone with the same categories the coaches vote on and well as blurbs on every player placed on the ballot. Each participant was asked to rank participants, for example for Player of the Year, the player who would be atop the voter’s list would be given 15 points and then from there other names would be selected by descending point totals. This was done to also determine the A-10 All-Conference Teams. These were originally designed as five-player teams, but when the conference went with six-players teams, the ballot followed suit.

Ballots were sent at the conclusion of regular season play Saturday evening.

Here is the full panel:

Zachary Weiss a10talk.com/Pittsburgh Sports Now (National)

Daniel Frank a10talk.com (National)

Jeff Madigan Olean Times Herald (St. Bonaventure)

Isis Young WFUV/ESPN+ (Fordham)

Derek Smith Davidson WBB pxp (Davidson)

Tyler Byrum Color Commentator ESPN+ (George Washington)

Stone Freeman Rhode Island MBB/WBB pxp (Rhode Island)

Chris Pyle a10talk.com (Dayton)

Alex Mikos ESPN+ pxp (Dayton)

David Borne Duquesne Duke (Duquesne)

Wayne Epps Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond/VCU)

Colin Cronin ESPN+ pxp & WMUA (Massachusetts)

Natalie Heavren Fourth Estate Sports/Her Hoops Stats (George Mason)

Pat McCarthy ESPN+ pxp (Saint Joseph’s)

Corey Cohen ESPN+ pxp (La Salle)

Stu Durando St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Saint Louis)

Here was the ballot as decided by the panel. Parenthesis following a player and program’s name recognize the amount of first-place votes and the number at the end represents the total number of points.

Atlantic 10 Compiled Awards

Player of the Year: Bre Cavanaugh Fordham- Cavanaugh leads the Atlantic 10 in points per game, free-throw percentage and minutes played. Cavanugh was named Co-Player of the Week Dec. 9 (21 pts/12 rebs @ Manhattan & 23 pts/10 rebs vs Georgetown) and took the honor solo on Jan. 6 (29 pts in 33 minutes vs St. Bonaventure). Her low point total of the season was eight set Nov. 10 @ Columbia. She has achieved double figures in the last 26 games of the regular season, a sign of a dependable scorer. Beat the buzzer in a Feb. 13 win over Davidson. Cavanaugh is a high-volume shooter with no fear and a quick shot off the catch if needed. In three years she has eclipsed 1,700 career points and she leads the conference with 18 20-point games. She made sure her team ended the regular season on a strong note scoring 30 points Feb. 29 vs Saint Joseph’s, which helped her earn the last A-10 Player of the Week honor Mar. 2.

Defensive Player of the Year: Danielle Hammond VCU- Hammond has been known as someone who can extend possessions for VCU and can shoot at a high clip. Last season, Hammond shot the ball at a 59.1% clip which led the A-10 and this year has improved that percentage to 63.7% which again is atop the conference. On the season, Hammond has three double-doubles and also set her career high with 23 pts Jan. 29 vs Fordham. Additionally her 76 blocks (2nd in A-10) far exceed her 49 from a season ago and give her 169 in her Rams career, good for second in program history.

Rookie of the Year: Suzi-Rose Deegan Davidson- Suzi-Rose has been named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on six separate occasions, Nov. 18, Dec. 22, Dec. 30, Jan. 6, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3. She has achieved double figures in 21 games this season including nine consecutive games from Nov. 30-Jan. 12. SRD’s first start was Dec. 21 against Charlotte and she scored 30 points, one off a career high set Nov. 16 vs Kansas City. SRD also has five double-doubles including three in a row 12/29 @ Florida (14 pts/13 rebs), 1/4 @ Saint Louis (25 pts/14 rebs) and 1/8 vs Fordham (12 pts/13 rebs). Deegan was briefly sidelines with an injury missing two games, but returned 10 days later against Saint Joseph’s in a bench role. She recorded 25 points and a career-high 15 rebounds Feb. 26 in an overtime win over La Salle. She is tied for fourth in the A-10 in points per game and fifth in rebounding while also compiling eight 20-point games.

Most Improved Player: Libby Bazelak Duquesne- Ranks fourth in NCAA D-I with her 46.7% shooting percentage from three. Bazelak shared A-10 Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 23 after achieving a double-double against Saint Francis and flirting with one against Kennesaw State. Her career-high 23 points was achieved on Feb. 2 @ VCU. She has achieved double figures in 26 games this season including 11 of Duquesne’s first 12 games and 15 of the team’s 16 conference games. As a 5-foot-9 guard, she achieved four double-doubles and averages 6.4 rebounds a game. After serving as a complimentary piece in previous seasons, Bazelak became a leader and a focal point for opposing defenses while playing through a pre-season injury and still ranks third in the conference with 1041 minutes played (35.9 a game).

Sixth Women of the Year: Kayla Mokwuah George Washington- Mokwuah has played in all 29 games thus far for GW and has started six of them. Mokwuah has top-10 A-10 rankings in field-goal percentage (7th) and blocks (t-8th). She grabbed 10 rebounds in a win @ VCU Feb. 9, while swatting four shots Nov. 17 @ Memphis. She was quite efficient against Rhode Island matching a career-high with 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting in 16 minutes. From a year ago, Mokwuah’s points have increased by 2.0 and rebounds by 1.1.

All-Conference Teams

First Team

Bre Cavanaugh Fordham (14) 238

Nicole Jorgensen Rhode Island (2) 168

Jayla Scaife Dayton 168

Tera Reed VCU 155

Nicole Cardano-Hillary George Mason 155

Suzi-Rose Deegan Davidson 150

Second Team

Hailey Leidel Massachusetts 125

Ciaja Harbison Saint Louis 124

Libby Bazelak Duquesne 114

Sam Breen Massachusetts 87

Kendell Heremaia Fordham 78

Danielle Hammond VCU 72

Third Team

Davida Dale Rhode Island 68

Erin Whalen Dayton 54

Kendra Wilken Saint Louis 31

Claire Jacobs La Salle 24

Jaide Hinds-Clarke Richmond 20

Also Received Votes

Myriama Smith Traore Saint Louis 17

Anna DeWolfe Fordham 15

Katie Turner Davidson 15

Laia Sole Duquesne 14

Asainae Johnson St. Bonaventure 12

Katie Jekot Saint Joseph’s 8

Rachel Kent Saint Louis 5

Alexandra Maund George Washington 5

Claire Holt Richmond 2

Taya Robinson VCU 1

All-Defensive Team

Danielle Hammond VCU (4) 46

Shalina Miller La Salle (4) 45

Nicole Cardano-Hillary George Mason (3) 32

Kendell Heremaia Fordham (2) 28

Nicole Jorgensen Rhode Island 24

Davida Dale Rhode Island (1) 23

Also Received Votes

Maeve Donnelly Massachusetts (2) 18

Jaide Hinds-Clarke Richmond 11

Myriama Smith Traore Saint Louis 6

Asainae Johnson St. Bonaventure 3

Sam Breen Massachusetts 2

Jayla Scaife Dayton 1

Kendra Wilken Saint Louis 1

Libby Bazelak Duquesne 1

All-Rookie Team

Suzi-Rose Deegan Davidson (15) 75

Claire Jacobs La Salle (1) 51

Anna DeWolfe Fordham 49

Rachel Kent Saint Louis 25

Tori Hyduke George Washington 15

Also Received Votes

Maeve Donnelly Massachusetts 10

Kassondra Brown Rhode Island 6

Coach of the Year

Shauna Green Dayton (13) 41

Tori Verdi Massachusetts (2) 12

Beth O’Boyle VCU 11

Mountain MacGillivray La Salle 10

Dan Burt Duquesne 6

Stephanie Gaitley Fordham 5

Jennifer Rizzotti George Washington (1) 3

Lisa Stone Saint Louis 3

Tammi Reiss Rhode Island 2

Gayle Fulks Davidson 1

Aaron Roussell Richmond 1

Most Improved

Libby Bazelak Duquesne (7) 31

Kendra Wilken Saint Louis (3) 12

Kendell Heremaia Fordham (1) 11

Danielle Hammond VCU (2) 8

Kayla Spruill La Salle (2) 8

Laia Sole Duquesne 5

Erin Jones Rhode Island 5

Asainae Johnson St. Bonaventure 3

Claire Holt Richmond 2

Marika Korpinen George Mason 1

Sixth Woman of the Year

Kayla Mokwuah George Washington (7) 18

Madison Hattix-Covington VCU (3) 12

Adelaide Fuller Davidson (3) 6

Kassondra Brown Rhode Island (1) 5

While everyone submitted a ballot, Weiss’s will be the only one made public in this piece.

The criterion on his ballot were purely based on stats, on-court production with and without the ball, watching several full games from each team, consistency and on-court time. Just because a team did better than another team in the regular season, that did not automatically mean one player would finish higher than another. Additionally, sometimes coaches will look at offensive statistics for the all-defensive team, but that was not the case with this ballot. While normally ballots are quick to fill out, this one took three days of thinking, a sign of how razor-thin the margin was for some spots.

Player of the Year: Bre Cavanaugh, Fordham

Defensive Player of the Year: Kendell Heremaia Fordham

Rookie of the Year: Suzi-Rose Deegan, Davidson

Coach of the Year: Tori Verdi Massachusetts

Most Improved Player: Kendra Wilken Saint Louis

Sixth Woman of the Year: Kayla Mokwuah George Washington

All-Conference First Team

  1. Bre Cavanaugh, Fordham
  2. Nicole Jorgensen Rhode Island
  3. Kendell Heremaia Fordham
  4. Hailey Leidel Massachusetts
  5. Libby Bazelak Duquesne

All-Conference Second Team

  1. Tera Reed VCU
  2. Suzi-Rose Deegan Davidson
  3. Davida Dale Rhode Island
  4. Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, George Mason
  5. Erin Whalen Dayton

All-Conference Third Team

  1. Ciaja Harbison Saint Louis
  2. Sam Breen Massachusetts
  3. Kendra Wilken Saint Louis
  4. Jaide Hinds-Clarke Richmond
  5. Jayla Scaife Dayton

All-Defensive Team

  1. Kendell Heremaia Fordham
  2. Shalina Miller La Salle
  3. Jaide Hinds-Clarke Richmond/Danielle Hammond VCU
  4. Davida Dale Rhode Island
  5. Libby Bazelak Duquesne

All-Rookie Team

  1. Suzi-Rose Deegan, Davidson
  2. Anna DeWolfe, Fordham
  3. Rachel Kent, Saint Louis
  4. Claire Jacobs La Salle
  5. Tori Hyduke George Washington

Photo credit: Atlantic 10 Conference