The college basketball regular season came to an official close on Sunday, with many conferences already having had their league tournaments well underway. It's been an exciting year in women's hoops, with four different teams along the way (South Carolina, Stanford, Louisville, UConn) earning the title of AP No. 1 ahead of the sport's first NCAA tournament since 2019.
Among players, Sports Illustrated is honoring the best of the best from the season with its 2020–21 All-America teams, which includes a first, second and third team. While these players still have the opportunity to continue to impress well into March (and April's Final Four), we looked at their total body of work so far to determine this year's honorees.
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*All stats are through Sunday, March 7
First Team All-America
Paige Bueckers, UConn
Bueckers arrived in Storrs with plenty of fanfare, and the freshman phenom has managed to live up to the hype and more. Last week she joined Maya Moore as the only players to win Big East Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in the same season, after a regular season that saw her average 19.6 points, 6.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals, all while shooting a stellar 46.4% from three. Per Her Hoop Stats, she leads all of Division I in win shares (10.5), and in February, she scored 31 of UConn's 63 points in an overtime win over then No. 1 South Carolina. The only question now is whether she will make history as the first freshman to be named women's National Player of the Year.
Dana Evans, Louisville
A two-time ACC Player of the Year (an award Louisville has dominated in recent seasons), Evans has had another dazzling season for the Cardinals. The senior guard is a dynamic scorer inside and outside the arc, and knocks down an outstanding 92.0% of her free throws. Evans is pouring in 20 points per game, while adding 4.2 assists and 1.3 steals. After Louisville lost a heartbreaker to NC State in the ACC tournament final, she's next hoping to carry her Cards program to its first national title and close her career full circle after being a contributor on Louisville's 2018 Final Four team as a freshman.
Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
Last year's USBWA National Freshman of the Year followed things up with an even stronger sophomore campaign. Boston's 13.7 points per game average might not scream First Team All-America, but her value to the No. 7 Gamecocks goes well beyond scoring. The 6' 5" forward is dominant on the interior, pulling in 11.7 rebounds per game and blocking 2.8 shots, and she adds 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals to boot. One of the country's best rebounders and defenders, she is the do-it-all cog upfront that makes South Carolina run.
Naz Hillmon, Michigan
The super-scorer has put up video-game numbers for the Wolverines, averaging 25.1 points (fourth nationally) and 11.3 rebounds (17th nationally), a whopping 4.9 of which come on the offensive end. The 6' 2" junior forward is a force in the paint, making 64.5% of her twos, and broke the Michigan single-game basketball scoring record when she torched Ohio State for a stunning 50 points in January. At only 18 games played in this uneven COVID-19 season, Hillmon is behind some of her peers, but she's made the most of her time on the court.
Charli Collier, Texas
The 6' 5" Collier is a production machine for the Longhorns, averaging 20.9 points and 12.2 rebounds and ranking second nationally in double doubles, with 17. The favorite to be the No. 1 pick in this year's WNBA draft after she announced Sunday she will forgo her senior season, Collier left her mark in Texas lore with an impeccable November effort vs. North Texas—scoring 44 points on 14-for-17 shooting and grabbing 16 rebounds—and posted an eye-popping 30-point, 19-rebound line against Texas Tech in January.
Second Team All-America
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
Howard was the country's leading returning scorer entering 2020–21, and the electric 6' 2" guard has continued her superb play for the Wildcats as a junior. While her usage rate has dipped from its peak during her record-setting sophomore season in Lexington, she's remained dominant, continuing to score at all three levels and averaging 20.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals. After missing out on March Madness in her terrific 2019–20 season, Howard will get her chance for No. 17 Kentucky this spring.
Ashley Joens, Iowa State
An Iowa City native, Joens chose to come to Ames and play for the Cyclones over her hometown Hawkeyes. As a junior, she built on the scoring prowess she displayed last season with a second straight year of averaging more than 20 points (she's at 23.4 in 2020–21). The 6-foot wing is one of the best offensive players in the country, and while her numbers from deep (32.6%) might not be the most efficient, she can put the ball in the basket with the best of them. This March, she'll be hoping to lead Iowa State to its first Sweet 16 since 2010.
Caitlin Clark, Iowa
Were it not for Bueckers, Clark would be the freshman getting the most hype in women's college hoops. The 6' 0" Iowa guard has scorched opposing defenses to the tune of 27.4 points per game, and she's leading the country in scoring after dropping 35 in the Hawkeyes' regular-season finale on Saturday. Clark averages four made threes per game and shoots at a 42.0% clip from deep, making her not just a volume shooter but an efficient one. She's also fifth nationally in assists per game (6.8) and adds 6.0 rebounds per contest.
Natasha Mack, Oklahoma State
Good luck scoring in the paint when Mack is patrolling it. The 6' 4" senior—who reportedly has a 6' 11" wingspan—leads the country in blocks per game, swatting an average of 4.0 as the anchor of the Cowgirls' defense. Add in 9.2 defensive rebounds per game (12.3 overall), and it's no wonder she leads the country in defensive win shares (per Her Hoop Stats) as well. But Mack is more than just her defense, scoring 19.8 points per game and shooting 52.6% from the floor. Behind the senior, Oklahoma State improved from 6–12 in the Big 12 last season to 13–5 in 2020–21.
Ashley Owusu, Maryland
The Terrapins get many offensive contributions while pouring in a nation-leading 91.3 points per game, but they're led by Owusu, who has enjoyed a breakout sophomore year in College Park. The 6' 0" guard does the vast majority of her damage inside the arc, averaging 18.7 points and also dishing out 5.8 assists. Owusu is at her most dangerous in transition, where her quick thinking and scoring knack set her apart as the fulcrum of Maryland's juggernaut offense.
Third Team All-America
NaLyssa Smith, Baylor: Smith has followed up her breakout sophomore season by taking on an even larger scoring role as a junior, averaging 18.2 points and 9.4 rebounds for the No. 6 Bears.
Kiana Williams, Stanford: The No. 4 Cardinal are a true ensemble team, with no player averaging more than Williams's 13.8 points, but the 5' 8" guard gets it done on both ends as a senior leader for Stanford.
Elissa Cunane, NC State: Averaging 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds, the 6' 5" junior center has continued her impressive career for the No. 3 Wolfpack, who are coming off an ACC tourney title and aiming for what would be their first Final Four this century.
Haley Jones, Stanford: Jones's freshman season was cut short by a knee injury, but she's come back to average 13.1 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Cardinal, who are hoping to end a 29-year title drought.
Christyn Williams, UConn: The junior and former No. 1 recruit is having another excellent season for the Huskies, averaging 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists and playing stellar defense.