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Megan Walker named AP First Team All-American

Crystal Dangerfield and Olivia Nelson-Ododa garnered honorable mentions.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball’s Megan Walker earned some more hardware to add to her collection. Coming off a season in which she was named AAC Player of the Year and the AAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Walker received national recognition by being named an AP First Team All-American. It is the seventh straight year the Huskies have landed a player on the first team and the 26th time overall.

Walker finished season season averaging 19.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while making 45.1 percent from beyond the arc — good for eighth in the country. On Saturday, she announced that she will forgo her senior season at UConn and declare for the WNBA Draft.

“She stopped blaming other factors for her not being what she wanted to be and took matters into her own hands,” Geno Auriemma said of Walker’s emergence this season prior to the AAC Tournament. “She said, ‘This is what I’ve done my first two years, and this is what I want to accomplish now, so what am I going to do about it? I’m going to get in better shape, take better care of myself, I’m going to practice harder, I’m going to become more of the kind of player that I know I need to be to help our team be successful.”

Walker was the only UConn player to land on one of the AP’s three All-American teams, though Crystal Dangerfield and Olivia Nelson-Ododa both received honorable mentions. This is the first year since 2012 that the Huskies did not have multiple AP All-Americans.

Dangerfield wrapped her UConn career with 14.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game along with a 2.27 assist-to-turnover ratio, 26th-best in the country. Nelson-Ododa had one of the best defensive seasons in program history with 100 blocks — fourth-most in the country and eighth-most in a single season in program history. With a full season, the sophomore likely would’ve finished in the top five for most blocks in a season at UConn.

Earlier in the week, UConn finished fifth in the final AP Poll of the season. The Huskies have finished in the top five every season since 2007.

Walker, Dangerfield projected to go in first round

While the general consensus seems to be that Megan Walker could’ve used an extra season in college to be ready to play in the WNBA, it’s hard to argue with results. In ESPN’s latest WNBA Mock Draft by Mechelle Voepel, the junior is projected to go fifth overall to the Dallas Wings — behind only Sabrina Ionescu, Lauren Cox, Satou Sabally and Chennedy Carter.

Crystal Dangerfield, meanwhile, was the final pick of the first round to the Washington Mystics in the exercise. Voepel noted that “Dangerfield’s size at 5-5 will be seen as a potential liability” but the fact that she played at UConn should help her stock.

While everything is up in the air due to COVID-19, the WNBA Draft is tentatively scheduled for April 17.