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WVU Women’s Basketball

WVU’s JJ Quinerly in Running for Major National Award



WVU Women’s Basketball G JJ Quinerly

JJ Quinerly had a season for the ages for WVU, keying the Mountaineers’ aggressive full court press defense that posts 13.9 steals per game, the most of any major basketball program.

She’s already received plenty of recognition for her performance, earning the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year award—the first Mountaineer to ever bring home the trophy. She also ranks on watch lists for the best shooting guard and overall player in the nation. Her résumé grew on Monday, when the Naismith Awards announced her as a semifinalist for their Women’s College Defensive Player of the Year award.

Ten players made the semifinalist list, with Quinerly one of four guards and three Big 12 players in the running. The other nominees in alphabetical order include:

  • Cameron Brink (Stanford)
  • Jordyn Cambridge (Vanderbilt)
  • Kamilla Cardoso (South Carolina)
  • Hannah Hidalgo (Notre Dame)
  • Taiyanna Jackson (Kansas)
  • Elizabeth Kitley (Virginia Tech)
  • Ayoka Lee (Kansas State)
  • Angel Reese (LSU)
  • Celeste Taylor (Ohio State)

Quinerly logged three steals in 68 minutes during the Big 12 Tournament despite playing with a knee injury suffered less than a week earlier. She sits No. 13 in the nation with 91 steals this season (2.94 per game, good for No. 15), behind Hidalgo’s 147 and Cambridge’s 111, although both her rate and counting stats took a hit over the final month of the season as various injuries caused her to miss minutes.

WVU Men’s Basketball guard Jevon Carter won the counterpart Naismith College Men’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 2018, its first year of inception. JJ Quinerly would become the first WVU Women’s Basketball player to win the award.

The four finalists will be announced on March 20, with the trophy ceremony itself taking place on April 3.

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