Big 12 Basketball

Two Big 12 Players in Top 10 of ESPN’s Top 25 Women’s Players

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Texas vs Iowa State

Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith and Iowa State’s Ashley Joens are in the Top 10 of ESPN’s rankings of the Top 25 players in women’s college basketball, published earlier this week.

The selections were made by a select panel of voters and conducted like an AP Top 25 poll — 25 points for first place, 24 points for second place, etc…

Smith came in at No. 2 and received at least three first-place votes. Smith is the reigning Wade Trophy winner, which is given to the nation’s top player. She has already led the Bears to a 2-0 start and passed 1,300 career points in the Bears’ win over UT Arlington on Thursday.


The only player ahead of Smith was UConn sophomore Paige Bueckers, who as a freshman was the consensus national player of the year last season.

Joens, who came in at No. 9 in the rankings, has been a star at Iowa State since she set foot in Ames. She’s the reigning Cheryl Miller Award winner, given to the nation’s best small forward. She has the potential to become Iowa State’s all-time leading scorer by season’s end.

Smith and Joens were the only two Big 12 players to make the Top 25.

Three other Big 12 players received votes in the poll. Texas Tech’s Vivian Gray is out due to an injury. TCU guard Lauren Heard is on several award watch lists. And Kansas State center Ayoka Lee set the single-game scoring record for K-State in its season opener.

The selectors included ESPN analysts Debbie Antonelli, Rebecca Lobo, Carolyn Peck, Steffi Sorensen, Christy Thomaskutty, Brenda VanLengen, Brooke Weisbrod and Stephanie White, along with The Undefeated’s Sam Hurd and ESPN writers Mechelle Voepel, Charlie Creme and Katie Barnes.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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