IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark has been named the WBCA Co-Freshman of the Year, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced Tuesday. Clark shares the honor with UConn’s Paige Bueckers.
Clark is the first women’s basketball student-athlete at Iowa to earn national freshman of the year recognition from any outlet.
In 30 games this season, Clark averaged 26.6 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game. She set the Iowa freshman record with 26.6 points per game (men’s or women’s), recorded the fourth-highest points per game in single season in Iowa history (men’s or women’s), and was the 2020-21 NCAA Division I scoring leader (men’s or women’s). She is the only Division I student-athlete to record 12, 30-point games this season — the most by an NCAA Division I freshman since 2000.
Clark led a Hawkeye team that was not projected to be in the NCAA field of 68 at the beginning of the season to the Sweet Sixteen. It marked the program’s eighth Sweet Sixteen appearance, and its third in its last four NCAA Tournament appearances.
The freshman led the nation in total assists (214), total points (799), points per game (26.6), field goals made (266), 3-pointers made (116), and ranked second in assists per game (7.1) and 3-pointers per game (3.87).
The West Des Moines, Iowa, native broke the Iowa women’s basketball record for points scored in a freshman campaign with 799 points and ranks third all-time at Iowa for points in a single season behind Megan Gustafson’s junior and senior seasons. She also broke Iowa’s all-time freshman assist record with 214 on the season, surpassing former Hawkeye Kathleen Doyle, who recorded 148 assists during her freshman campaign in 2016-17. She ranks fourth all-time at Iowa for assists in a single season.
Clark recorded nine double-doubles on the season, including a triple-double against Western Illinois (Dec. 22). She recorded the other eight against Drake (Dec. 2), Minnesota (Jan. 6), at Ohio State (Jan. 13), Minnesota (Jan. 31), Nebraska (Feb. 11), Wisconsin (Feb. 28), against Rutgers (March 11), and Michigan State (March 12). She netted a career-high 39 points at Nebraska on Feb. 11 — setting a Pinnacle Bank Arena record for most points scored in a single game (men or women).
Clark was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, unanimously selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman team, and unanimously selected first team All-Big Ten. She was named Big Ten Women’s Basketball Player and Freshman of the Week for the fifth time on March 5, breaking the Big Ten record that was previously held by Minnesota’s Amanda Zahui B. (four) during the 2013-14 season. She also broke the Big Ten Freshman of the Week record, earning the honor 13 times and earned 22 total weekly honors from the conference.
NATIONAL AWARDS TRACKER
· WBCA Co-Freshman of the Year (March 30)
· The Athletic’s Co-Freshman of the Year (March 25)
· Named to The Athletic All-America Team (March 25)
· WBCA All-Region Team (March 24)
· Dawn Staley Award Finalist (March 7)
· USBWA Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Week (Jan. 5, Feb. 17, Feb. 23, and March 2)
· NCAA Starting Five (Dec. 9, Dec. 30, Feb. 17, March 3)
· ESPN National Player of the Week (Dec. 14) — the first Big Ten freshman to earn the award.