Three Oregon women’s basketball players land on preseason watchlists

Three starters on the Pac-12 preseason favorite No. 6 Oregon women’s basketball team have been added to national award watch lists this week. Sophomore Satou Sabally and juniors Ruthy Hebard and Sabrina Ionescu. Hebard and Ionescu both won their respective awards last season.

Ionescu, who holds the NCAA career triple-double record with 10 in just two career seasons, has been added for the second-straight year to the Nancy Lieberman Award for the top point guard in the nation. She is joined on the list by Oregon State’s redshirt sophomore guard Destiny Slocum.

Ionescu was the first Duck to earn the award, and if she won again, would join women’s basketball legends who hold multiple Nancy Lieberman awards: Sue Bird, who won three-consecutive times (2000, 2001, 2002), Diana Taurasi (2003, 2004), Skylar Diggins (2012, 2013) and Moriah Jefferson (2015, 2016), who all play in the WNBA.

Hebard, who won last year’s inaugural award, has been named again to the Katrina McClain award for the top power forward in the nation. The 6’4″ post averaged 17.6 points and nine rebounds a game last season. She was also added to the 2018 Wade Trophy watch list midway through last season, though she did not win. Hebard is the only forward in the Pac-12 nominated for this year’s award.

Sabally has been added to the Cheryl Miller Award, which recognizes the top small forward in the nation. During her freshman season, she was named the Pac-12 player of the year and averaged 10.7 points and 3.8 rebounds a game.

She is joined on the Miller Award list with Oregon State’s senior guard Katie McWilliams. Connecticut’s Gabby Williams won last year’s inaugural Cheryl Miller award during her senior season. She went fourth in the 2018 WNBA draft and now plays for the Chicago Sky.

Sabally, Hebard and Ionescu are joined on the starting line by senior guard Maite Cazorla and redshirt-sophomore transfer Erin Boley. The Ducks will open their season with a premier on the road at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.

Follow Sierra Webster on Twitter @WebsterSierraE.

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