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Aari McDonald named to Ann Meyers Drysdale Award preseason watch list

Arizona v Oregon Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Can she make it two in a row?

Last year, Aari McDonald was named the nation’s best shooting guard by the WBCA and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame when she took home the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award. This year, she’s back up for that award.

The WBCA and the Hall of Fame released the list of 20 shooting guards from around the country on Tuesday. Along with South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, McDonald is the only winner of a Starting Five award from last season who has returned to college for 2020-21. Three of the five awards were won by Oregon Ducks who have moved on to the WNBA.

Last season, McDonald led the Pac-12 in scoring for the second straight season with 20.6 points per game. It was also her second straight season of leading the conference in steals (2.6) as she garnered the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award.

In just two seasons on the court as a Wildcat, McDonald has jumped to sixth on the all-time scoring list. She has the single highest-scoring game (44 points vs Texas in 2019-20) and season (890 in 2018-19) in program history.

If McDonald wins again this year, she will own two of the four awards in the history of the honor. While the Nancy Lieberman Award honoring point guards has been around since 2000, the other four positional awards began in 2018.

It won’t be easy. She faces a conference that has five of the 20 candidates on the preseason watch list. Joining McDonald are Taylor Mikesell (Oregon), Kiana Williams (Stanford), Charisma Osborne (UCLA) and Brynna Maxwell (Utah).