UConn’s Paige Bueckers has been named the 2021 WBCA Co-Freshman of the Year alongside Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. Bueckers is the first Husky to win the award, which is only in its sixth season of existence.
The Hopkins, Minnesota native has been UConn’s best player this season and has already earned AP First Team All-American and Wooden All-American honors. She was also named Big East Player and Freshman of the Year, the Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player, and the River Walk Region Most Outstanding Player.
Bueckers leads the Huskies with 19.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 47.4% from beyond the arc. She also became the first player in program history to score 30 points in three consecutive games earlier this season. On Monday night, Bueckers dropped 28 points and grabbed the game-sealing steal to help UConn advance past Baylor and reach its 13th consecutive Final Four.
Clark also had a stellar campaign, leading the nation with 26.7 points per game while also adding 7.2 assists per game. She was named a Second Team All-American by the AP.
The two squared off in the Sweet Sixteen with Bueckers finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists while Clark scored 21 points on 7-for-21 shooting in a 92-72 UConn win.
Both players are also finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which goes to the best point guard in the nation. Neither is eligible for the Wade Trophy — the WBCA’s Player of the Year award — since it can only go to a sophomore, junior or senior.