Amanda Zahui B. Named Finalist for Naismith Trophy
MINNEAPOLIS (Gophersports.com) – University of Minnesota sophomore center Amanda Zahui B. today was named one of four finalists for the women’s 2015 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T after helping the Golden Gophers to a 23-9 record on the season and their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009.
Joining Zahui B. as a finalists for the national player of the year award are Connecticut’s Breanna Stewart, Notre Dame’s Jewell Loyd and South Carolina’s Tiffany Mitchell. The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, which based selections on individual performances throughout the 2014-15 women’s college basketball regular season. The winner of the Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year Trophy presented by AT&T will be announced on April 7, 2015.
Fans will have the opportunity to vote for the player of their choice and help determine the 2015 Naismith Trophy winner. Beginning March 23 and running through April 4 fans can cast their vote through the online and mobile optimized site www.NaismithVote.com. The fan vote represents 25 percent of the selection process – the largest fan impact of any collegiate basketball award.
Zahui B. is just the third Gopher all-time to be named a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, as Lindsay Whalen was a finalist in both 2003 and 2004 and Janel McCarville earned the distinction in 2005.
The center was named an espnW First Team All-American and was the media’s selection for Big Ten Player of the Year. She was the lone unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten First Team by both head coaches and media and earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. The sophomore was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team after averaging 23.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 7.0 blocks per game in two contests at the event, has twice been named the National Player of the Week by espnW and was a Big Ten Player of the Week selection four times during the regular season.
Zahui B. is averaging 18.8 points, 12.6 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per game and has proven to be one of the top centers in the nation this season. She has posted the top single-game marks the NCAA this season with 29 rebounds versus Iowa, 12 blocks against Penn State and a 1.000 (11-11) field goal percentage versus Purdue. Zahui B. is also one of only two players in the NCAA to post two triple-doubles on the year.
In just her sophomore season, Zahui B. is the Gophers’ all-time blocks leader with 239 career blocks, while she also broke her own program single-season blocks record of 105 blocks that she set last season as a rookie and has 134 on the year. Zahui B. became the 22nd Gopher in program history to join the 1,000-point club with 1,114 career points, while she is just the fourth Minnesota player to reach the milestone in her second year of play, joining Lindsay Whalen, Laura Coenen and Rachel Banham.
Amanda Zahui B. - 2014-15 Accolades
- espnW First Team All-American
- Naismith Trophy Finalist
- John R. Wooden Award National Ballot
- “Wade Watch” List
- Big Ten Player of the Year (media)
- First Team All-Big Ten (unanimous, coaches & media)
- Big Ten All-Defensive Team
- Big Ten All-Tournament Team
- 2x espnW National Player of the Week (Jan. 5, Feb. 23)
- 4x Big Ten Player of the Week (Dec. 30, Jan. 5, Feb. 2, Feb. 24)