South Carolina star forward Aliyah Boston added to her already stuffed trophy case, picking up the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year awards on Wednesday night.
Coach Dawn Staley also grabbed Coach of the Year honors, as South Carolina swept the awards. Staley doubled up on the distinction, earning it from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association as well.
Boston, who was considered a heavy favorite for the award for most of the season, posted an SEC record 28 straight double-doubles — which included 10 games against ranked opponents — and averaged a career-best 16.8 points per game with 12.2 rebounds, while adding a career-high 45 steals and ranking 14th nationally in blocks (2.5). Additionally, she’s shooting an SEC-best 54.2 percent from the field, with eight 20-point games to her credit this season.
Boston, who was SEC Player of the Year and and SEC Defensive Player of the Year, has also been named a finalist for the Wooden Award.
Staley was feted as Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons for her efforts in leading the Gamecocks to the program’s third Final Four in the past four NCAA Tournaments. South Carolina was ranked No. 1 wire-to-wire this season, and also sports the country’s third-best scoring defense, yielding just 50.5 points per game. The Gamecocks collected their sixth SEC regular-season title and compiled their fourth undefeated home record.