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USC Women's Basketball: Big On Shortlist For Trojans-Themed Honor

USC's present might intersect its past next spring.

Returning junior USC Women of Troy basketball center Rayah Marshall has been honored as a favorite preseason candidate to win an award with a familiar ring to it.

Per the Trojans' official website, the 6'4" big is considered a (preseason) finalist for the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year award heading into 2023-24.

Marshall is already fourth among all-time USC players in blocked shots (169). She has emerged as one of the better defensive players in the Pac-12 conference.

Last season across 28 bouts (all starts), she logged averages of 12.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, a whopping 3.5 blocks, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.4 dimes.

Lisa Leslie is one of the most accomplished players in the history of the women's game, so naming any hardware after her makes sense. The winner of the 1994 Honda Sports Award while still at USC, the 6'5" Hall of Fame inductee won two titles (and two Finals MVP berths) with your Los Angeles Sparks WNBA team. She was a three-time league MVP, the two-time Defensive Player of the year, an eight-time All-Star, and a 12-time All-NBA nominees. She's also a transcendent defender, which served her well in the league.

It's unfair to expect Rayah Marshall to dominate like Lisa Leslie at the WNBA level. But can she notch some DPOY hardware this spring? I'm not sure, but this should be an excellent series.

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