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March 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Washington guard Kelsey Plum named Freshman of the Year


UW guard Kelsey Plum

Seven times I’ve asked either Kelsey Plum or Washington coach Mike Neighbors how the guard felt about being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and seven times Plum has said, “I don’t care.” For a little spice, the seventh time, which happened to be a Pac-12 record for the weekly honor initiated in 2012-13, Plum said, “I don’t care, I just want to win.”

That focus led to her being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches on Tuesday. Plum joins junior G Jazmine Davis (2012) and Karen Deden (1988) as the only UW women to win the award.

Plum, a California native, also joined Davis on the 2013-14 All-Pac-12 team. The latter is a three-time honoree.

Plum had my vote at the first basket. Oregon G Chrishae Rowe can light it up scoring-wise and is a way better defender than Plum. The Ducks even beat the Huskies in January.

The edge is in the percentages and whole point to the game — winning. Plum shoots 40.5 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from three-point range and (my favorite) 83.9 percent from the foul line. All are better percentages than Rowe, who is the leading scorer among freshmen in the nation (21.7 points). Plum is second at 20.9.

In that “win” category? Simply put, Oregon was 6-12 in Pac-12 play. Breaking it down, Plum averaged 37.1 minutes in leading UW offensively to a 10-8 conference record and was the leading scorer in upsets against then-No. 3 Stanford (23 points) and then-No. 18 Cal (22 points) on Sunday.

Standing at the free-throw line with Washington up 68-65 with 13.4 seconds left against Cal, Plum drained the two shots to seal the upset and probably any undecided postseason award votes. Here’s the rest from the Pac-12 offices:

STANFORD’S Ogwumike named Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year
WASHINGTON’s Plum named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year
STANFORD’S VanDerveer voted John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – In a vote of the league’s 12 women’s basketball head coaches, STANFORD senior Chiney Ogwumike was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today. Commissioner Scott also announced that WASHINGTON’s Kelsey Plum was selected the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Additionally, STANFORD head coach Tara VanDerveer was also voted the John R. Wooden Coach of the Year by her colleagues, the 14th time in her career and fourth-straight year she has won the award.

The Conference Coach of the Year honor was renamed in honor of the late John R. Wooden, former legendary UCLA coach, during the 2010-11 campaign.

The complete list of honors is listed below:

ALL-PAC-12 (15 members)

Name School Pos. Yr. Hometown
Jillian Alleyne Oregon F So. Fontana, Calif.
Brittany Boyd** California G Sr. Berkeley, Calif.
Jazmine Davis*** Washington G Jr. San Jose, Calif.
Nirra Fields UCLA G So. Montreal, Canada
Lia Galdeira Washington State G So. Kamuela, Hawai’i
Reshanda Gray California F Jr. Los Angeles, Calif.
Cassie Harberts** USC F Sr. San Clemente, Calif.
Deja Mann Arizona State G RS-Sr. Merced, Calif.
Atonye Nyingifa** UCLA F Sr. Torrance, Calif.
Chiney Ogwumike**** Stanford F Sr. Cypress, Texas
Amber Orrange** Stanford G Jr. Houston, Texas
Michelle Plouffe** Utah F Sr. Edmonton, Alberta
Kelsey Plum Washington G Fr. Poway, Calif.
Tia Presley Washington State G Jr. Spokane, Wash.
Sydney Wiese Oregon State F Fr. Phoenix, Ariz.

**two-time All-Pac-12 honoree;  ***three-time All-Pac-12 honoree; **** four-time All-Pac-12 honoree

HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least one point): Ariya Crook, USC (G, Jr.); Ruth Hamblin, OSU (C, So.); Afure Jemerigbe, CAL (G, Sr.); Courtney Range, CAL (F, Fr.); Jen Reese, COLO (F, Jr.); Arielle Roberson, COLO (F, RS-So.), Chrishae Rowe, ORE (G, Fr.); Mikaela Ruef, STAN (F, Sr.); Ariel Thomas, ORE (G., Sr.); Jamie Weisner OSU (G, So.).


Name School Pos. Hometown
Kelsey Plum Washington G Poway, Calif.
Sydney Wiese Oregon State G Phoenix, Ariz.
Chrishae Rowe Oregon G Corona, Calif.
Lili Thompson Stanford G Mansfield, Texas
Emily Potter Utah F Winnipeg, Manitoba

HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least one point): Sophie Brunner, ASU; Karlie Samuelson, STAN; Kelsey Moos, ASU; Courtney Range, CAL; Gabriella Hanson, OSU; Courtney Jaco, USC.


Name School Pos. Yr. Hometown
Promise Amukamara Arizona State G Jr. Glendale, Ariz.
Brittany Boyd California G Jr. Berkeley, Calif.
Ruth Hamblin Oregon State C So. Houston, B.C.
Chiney Ogwumike**** Stanford F Sr. Cypress, Texas
Michelle Plouffe Utah F Sr. Edmonton, Alberta

**** four-time All-Defensive team honoree

HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least one point): Brianna Barrett, USC (G, So.); Corinne Costa, UCLA (F/C, RS-Jr.); Lia Galdeira, WSU (G, So.); Afure Jemerigbe, CAL (G, Jr.); Amber Orrange, STAN (G, Jr.); Arielle Roberson, COLO (F, RS-So.); Alexyz Vaioletama, USC (F, Jr.); Mercedes Wetmore, WASH (G, Sr.); Aminah Williams, WASH (F, Jr.); Ashley Wilson, COLO (G, Sr.); Brittany Wilson, COLO (G, Sr.).


Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike (Cypress, Texas) earns her second-straight Pac-12 Player of the Year nod after averaging 27.0 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. She ranks third in the country in scoring, 12th in rebounding, third with a 62.2 field-goal shooting percentage and sixth with 22 double-doubles, the only player in the country to rank in the top 15 in all four categories. She has recorded an impressive 13 30-point games and 26 20-point games this season. She has also been dominant on the boards, posting 22 double-digit rebounding games. The consensus national player of the year candidate was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Week a league-record nine times, and has earned the honor 18 times in her career, also a Conference record. Owning the Pac-12’s all-time rebounding record with 1,483 boards, she is one away from tying for 10th on the NCAA’s all-time list. Leading Stanford to its 13th-straight Pac-12 regular-season title, she is just 49 points away from tying the Pac-12’s career scoring mark, having tallied 2,580 for her career. Ogwumike became the 10th Cardinal to ever win the Conference’s player of the year honor last year with this year’s nod giving Stanford 18 all-time, by far, a league record. Ogwumike is also the Defensive Player of the Year for the third-consecutive year. She ranks eighth all-time in Pac-12 history with 190 career blocks. Ogwumike is the seventh Cardinal to earn Conference player of the year honors multiple times, following in the footsteps of big sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2010, 2012), Candice Wiggins (2005, 06, 08), Nicole Powell (2002, 04), Kate Starbird (1996, 97), Val Whiting (1992, 93) and Jennifer Azzi (1989, 90). A four-time all-conference selection, Chiney Ogwumike is the 11th player in Conference history to achieve the feat. She is also the ninth player all-time to earn the player of the year and freshman of the year in her career.

KELSEY PLUM, G, Washington

A guard from Poway, Calif., Kelsey Plum is the second-highest scoring freshman in the country, averaging 20.9 points per game, which ranks fourth in the Pac-12 and in the top 30 nationally. The team’s leading scorer, she has led the Huskies to a 17-12 overall mark and 10-8 in Conference play. After starting Conference play with a 3-5 record, UW has turned it around and gone 7-3 since Jan. 31, earning wins over then-No. 4 Stanford and then-No. 20 California in that span. Plum won a Pac-12-record seven Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors, including winning the award three-consecutive weeks from Feb. 10-24. Plum has recorded 16 20-point games this season, which ties for second most in the Pac-12. She also ranks fifth in the Conference with a 2.41 threes-made-per-game average, while boasting a 36.8 percent long-range shooting percentage (10th in the Pac-12). Plum is the second Husky in three years to win the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award and third all-time. Teammate Jazmine Davis was selected the league’s top freshman in 2012, becoming the first UW player to receive the honor since 1988. Plum is one of only two freshmen named to the All-Pac-12 team. Under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Neighbors, Washington earned the No. 6 seed at the Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle.


Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer has been voted John R. Wooden Coach of the Year for a fourth-straight season and the 14th time in her 28 years at Stanford. With a Conference record of 17-1, she has guided the Cardinal to a share of the regular-season Pac-12 title for the 13th year in a row and the program’s 23rd overall (including shared titles). A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, VanDerveer has coached 10 players who have gone on to earn the Conference’s Player of the Year honor 18 times since the league began sponsoring women’s basketball in 1986-87, including Chiney Ogwumike’s back-to-back wins of the award. The top-seeded team in the Pac-12 Tournament for the 13th-consecutive year, the Cardinal have been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country this season, spending most of the season at No. 4. Stanford ranks in the top 25 in the country in nine different statistical categories, including boasting the fifth-best assist-to-turnover margin (1.43) and sixth-best field goal percentage (48.0). It is the fifth-consecutive year Stanford has claimed the league crown outright or shared it with just one loss or less, marking the 14th time overall.

Comments | More in Northwest Ballers, Pac-12, Washington | Topics: Kelsey Plum


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