Ashley Joens is one of seven Big 12 players men’s players on the Wooden Award Women’s Top 50 Watch List, the award given to the nation’s best women’s college basketball player.
The Wooden Award committee released the watch list on Tuesday, the day the regular season started.
Joens, a second-team All-American last season, is also the defending Cheryl Miller Award winner. Last season the Iowa State star also earned All-Big 12 First-Team honors after averaging a school-record 24.2 points per game. She also averaged 9.5 rebounds per game and shot a career-best 46.3 percent from the field. She led the Big 12 in scoring for the second straight season.
The other six Big 12 players on the list are Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith, Baylor center Queen Egbo, Baylor guard Jordan Lewis, Kansas State center Ayoka Lee, TCU guard Lauren Heard and Texas Tech guard Vivian Gray.
Smith is the current WBCA National Player of the Year and was named a First-Team All-American by AP, WBCA, Wooden and ESPN.com last season after averaging 18 points and 8.9 rebounds per game last season. Smith also won the Katrina McClain Award last season, given to the nation’s best power forward.
Egbo was on the Lisa Leslie Final Five Watch list last season. She set career marks in points per game (11.1), rebounds per contest (8.6) and blocks per game (1.9) last season in earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors.
Lewis, the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year, left Alabama after scoring 1,581 points for her career with the Crimson Tide. A sixth-year senior, she has averaged 17 points and 4.2 assists for her career.
Lee set a career-high with 19.1 points per game last season and earned All-Big 12 First Team honors. She was the only player in Division I to shoot 60 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free-throw line.
Heard, a super senior for the Horned Frogs, is coming off a season in which she was named All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team. She led the Horned Frogs in points (2nd, 21.2), rebounds (9th, 7.1), assists (3rd, 4.8) and steals (1st, 2.6).
Gray was a Miller Award Top 10 finalist last season and First-Team All-Big 12. She also earned WBCA Coaches all-America Honorable Mention honors after averaging 19.8 points on 43.8 percent field goal shooting, 8.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
**Want to win a $20 gift card? Go sign up here and join our conversation! The best poster each week wins a gift card to your favorite establishment!**