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Arizona guard Aari McDonald named to two national watch lists

Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics

When Arizona Wildcats star guard Aari McDonald was left off the Wooden Award late season watch list, head coach Adia Barnes was surprised.

But the committees for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award and the Dawn Staley Award delivered no such surprises. McDonald was one of two Pac-12 players named to each list on Tuesday.

The Ann Meyers Drysdale Award goes to the best guard in the nation. McDonald and Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu joined 13 other guards on the watch list.

The Dawn Staley Award goes to the nation’s best shooting guard. McDonald joined Stanford’s Kiana Williams. The list will be pared down in mid-March.

McDonald, second in the nation in scoring, is averaging 25.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game this season. Sharing point guard duties with Lucia Alonso, McDonald has also dished out 3.9 assists per contest.

She has jumped to No. 3 on Arizona’s single-season scoring list with 582 points in just 23 games, becoming the fastest player in school history to reach 500 points. With at least seven more games to go, McDonald trails only Barnes, who holds the top two spots on the single-season scoring list.

McDonald has scored at least 15 points in every game this year. She needs to average just under 10.3 ppg over the next seven games to overtake Barnes for the single-season record.

The winners of both awards will be announced at the Final Four in Tampa, Florida. The Wildcats (15-8, 5-7) host Utah and Colorado this week.