NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Already listed among the nation's top shooting guards, Belmont senior Darby Maggard now finds herself among even more elite company this week.
The Women's Basketball Coaches Association on Tuesday named Maggard to its Wade Trophy Watch List for the award given annually to the top player in college basketball. The Bruin is one of 35 of the nation's very best up for the most prestigious players' award in women's basketball.
A 5-foot-5 guard from Larwill, Ind., Maggard has twice been a candidate for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the country's top shooting guard, including being named to the preseason watch list for the 2019 award just last month. She is also a three-time First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection and the OVC's Preseason Player of the Year the past two seasons.
"Every player that gets to play with her, they see how hard she works every day. They understand that she has achieved what she's achieved because she works harder than everyone else," Belmont Head Coach Bart Brooks said. "She mights be the smallest player on the floor most nights, but you can't measure her heart, her will, her competitiveness. Those things make her as big as anyone on the floor.
"There won't be a lot of Darby Maggards. I can coach for a long time, but I won't coach another one. It's really cool to see someone who works so hard achieve."
Maggard is the NCAA Division-I's active leader in career 3-point percentage (43.92 percent) and free-throw percentage (92.7), and she ranks second among all active players in made 3-pointers (332) and assists (555). With 1,537 career points, she's just four shy of claiming Belmont's career scoring record in the D-I era.
Now in its 42nd year, the Wade Trophy is the oldest national player of the year award in college women's basketball. It is named in honor of the late, legendary Delta State University head coach Lily Margaret Wade, who won three consecutive national championships with the Lady Statesmen. First awarded in 1978 by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), now known as SHAPE America, the Wade Trophy has been presented to the WBCA NCAA Division I National Player of the Year since 2001.
The "Wade Watch" list of candidates for the Wade Trophy is composed of players selected by the WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches' All-America Selection Committee. The committee will review the list in January to determine if additional players will be added based on their play during the first half of the 2018-19 season.
Former winners include modern legends like UConn's Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore, Baylor's Brittney Griner and Tennessee's Candice Parker, along with all-time greats like Old Dominion's Nancy Lieberman, USC's Cheryl Miller and UConn's Rebecca Lobo.
South Carolina's A'ja Wilson took home the Wade Trophy last season.
2019 Wade Trophy Watch List
|Chennedy Carter||Texas A&M||Guard||5-7||So.|
|Tyasha Harris||South Carolina||Guard||5-10||Jr.|
|Presley Hudson||Central Michigan||Guard||5-6||Sr.|
|Paris Kea||North Carolina||Guard||5-9||R-Sr.|
|Jessica Kovatch||St. Francis (PA)||Guard||5-9||Sr.|
|Kitija Laksa||South Florida||Guard||6-0||Sr.|
|Marina Mabrey||Notre Dame||Guard||5-11||Sr.|
|Tynice Martin||West Virginia||Guard||5-11||Jr.|
|Teaira McCowan||Mississippi St.||Center||6-7||Sr.|
|Macy Miller||South Dakota St.||Guard||6-0||Sr.|
|Arike Ogunbowale||Notre Dame||Guard||5-8||Sr.|
|Katie Lou Samuelson||UConn||Guard||6-3||Sr.|
|Jessica Shepard||Notre Dame||Forward||6-4||Sr.|
|Brianna Turner||Notre Dame||Forward||6-3||Grad|
|Jackie Young||Notre Dame||Guard||6-0||Jr.|