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Iowa State’s Ashley Joens Leads Five Big 12 Players on Cheryl Miller Watch List

Iowa State women's basketball player Ashley Joens

Five Big 12 players — including Iowa State guard/forward Ashley Joens — are on the watch list for the 2023 Cheryl Miller Award, given to the nation’s best small forward.

The other Big 12 players on the list are Baylor’s Aijya Blackwell, Oklahoma’s Madi Williams, Oklahoma State’s Lior Garzon and Texas’ Shay Holle.


Joens has won the last two awards. She is Iowa State’s all-time leading scorer entering the season. Joens averaged 20.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists per game last season and spent part of her summer playing internationally with Team USA’s 3×3 team.

Blackwell transferred to Baylor from Missouri. Last season for the Tigers she averaged 14.9 points and 13.1 rebounds in 31 minutes per game as she earned All-SEC Second Team honors.

Williams returns for the Sooners after earning All-Big 12 First Team honors a season ago. She was a Miller Award finalist last season after she averaged team-highs 18.0 points and 7.6 rebounds, as well as 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals. She led the Sooners in rebounds for the fourth straight season, something only Courtney Paris had done.


Garzon transferred to Oklahoma State from Villanova after last season. She was the BIG EAST Co-Most Improved Player last year after scoring 13 points and grabbing 4.1 rebounds for the Wildcats last season.

Holle emerged as a starter midway through last season for the Longhorns, who went to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight for the second straight season. She averaged 3.7 points in 16.1 minutes per game.

The award is named for Miller, the three-time Naismith Player of the Year and Class of 1995 Hall of Famer. The annual award in its sixth year recognizes the top small forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.


2023 Cheryl Miller Award Watch List

Aijha Blackwell, Baylor

Madi Williams, Oklahoma

Elizabeth Balogun, Duke

Lior Garzon, Oklahoma State

Jordyn Merritt, Florida

Brea Beal, South Carolina

Grace Berger, Indiana

Myah Selland, South Dakota State

Ashley Joens, Iowa State

Haley Jones, Stanford

Morgan Jones, Louisville

Rickea Jackson, Tennessee

Shyanne Sellers, Maryland

Shay Holle, Texas

Mimi Collins, NC State

Caroline Ducharme, UConn

Skyler Gill, North Alabama

Gianna Kneepkens, Utah

Alyssa Ustby, North Carolina

Taylor Soule, Virginia Tech

 You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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