LOS ANGELES — Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu was stunned Friday when she won the John R. Wooden Award as the nation's outstanding women's player at the ESPN College Basketball Awards.
Her mouth dropped open when her name was announced. The NCAA Division I leader in career triple-doubles with 18, she led the Ducks to their first-ever Final Four. The 21-year-old guard plans to return for her senior year. She is scheduled to graduate in June and has already been accepted into a graduate program for next fall.
The Ducks lost to eventual national champion Baylor in the Final Four.
"This award isn't won alone, so this goes out to my team, my family, my coaches, and everyone that made this possible," Ionescu said. "Growing up with two brothers, it wasn't easy. They never took it easy on me. We fought all the time. We played in the yard, and so this goes to them. They pushed me to my limits all the time."
Ionescu, named the Pac-12 Conference player of the year for the second straight year, beat out Connecticut's Napheesa Collier, Asia Durr of Louisville, Iowa's Megan Gustafson and Teaira McCowan of Mississippi State.
Gustafson had earned several postseason honors, including AP player of the year after leading the nation in scoring for the second straight season.
Ionescu averaged 19.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game this season while shooting 44.3% from the floor, 42.9% from 3-point range and 88.3% at the free-throw line. She was the only player in the country to average more than 15 points, more than seven rebounds and more than seven assists per game. Ionescu is the school's career record-holder in assists and could become the first player with more than 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career assists.
The individual awards were decided by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame's selection committee.
Duke freshman Zion Williamson won the men's award and said he doesn't know if he's going to declare for the NBA draft and leave school early.
Then his words seemingly betrayed him.
"Just being around each other on and off the court because it was more than basketball," Williamson said during the nationally televised show. "The brotherhood is something real. The bond we had built is second to none so I know I'm going to miss that."
Asked for the second time on the show if he was leaving early, he replied, "Like I said before, I don't know."
Williamson is the sixth player from Duke to win the award named for the late UCLA coach, who won a record 10 NCAA championships.