Big 12 Basketball

NaLyssa Smith leads Katrina McClain Award Watch List

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech

Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith is one of three Big 12 players selected to the Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year Award watch list released on Thursday.

The West Virginia pair of Kari Niblack and Esmery Martinez also made the list.

Smith is the current WBCA National Player of the Year and was named a First-Team All-American by AP, WBCA, Wooden and last season after averaging 18 points and 8.9 rebounds per game last season. Smith won the McClain Award last season.


Martinez was an All-Big 12 First Team selection last season after averaging with 13.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. She was unanimously selected to the 2021-22 Preseason All-Big 12 Team.

Niblack averaged 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game last season. Her 148 career blocks rank No. 5 all-time in program history. She was selected to the 2021-22 Preseason All-Big 12 Team as an honorable mention.

The award is named for McClain, who was a two-time Kodak All-American and the WBCA National Player of the Year her senior season at Georgia. The two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year finished her international career with two Olympic gold medals and one bronze, three FIBA World Championships medals, and five medals at the Goodwill Games, Pan Am Games, and World University Games.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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2022 Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year Award Candidates

(Big 12 Players in Bold)

NaLyssa Smith, Baylor

Lauren Gustin, BYU

Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech

Maddi Utti, Long Beach St.

Olivia Cochran, Louisville

Naz Hillmon, Michigan

Kayla Jones, NC State

Sam Brunelle, Notre Dame

Nyara Sabally, Oregon

Taylor Jones, Oregon St.

Sania Feagin, South Carolina

Cameron Brink, Stanford

Alexus Dye, Tennessee

Dorka Juhasz, UConn

Aaliyah Edwards, UConn

Alissa Pili, USC

Bethy Mununga, USF

Maddy Siegrist, Villanova

Kari Niblack, West Virginia

Esmery Martinez, West Virginia

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