Baylor women’s basketball senior Alexis Jones was named one of 20 watch list candidates for the 2017 Nancy Lieberman Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday morning. The award, now in its 17th year, recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
“Nancy Lieberman was and continues to be a trailblazer for women in basketball,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Before she was an assistant coach in the NBA, Nancy was an outstanding collegiate point guard, much like the tremendous student-athletes on this watch list. With her leadership and vision, we look forward to identifying the top female point guard in the game this season.”
Jones is a Preseason All-Big 12 Team selection after collecting Big 12 Newcomer of the Year recognition as a junior last season. Transferring in from Duke, Jones started 34-of-38 games for the Lady Bears. She averaged 15 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and recorded 30 double-digit scoring performances en route to All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player honors in 2016.
A WBCA Honorable Mention All-American in 2016, Jones also earned All-Tournament Team recognition at the NCAA Dallas Regional, was named a Junkanoo Jam All-Star and collected WBCA All-Region honors. Prior to her arrival at Baylor, Jones earned All-ACC Second Team accolades in 2013 and 2014 and was named ACC Freshman of the Year in 2013.
The Selection Committee for the Nancy Lieberman Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2017 Lieberman Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2017 Lieberman Award will be announced at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Dallas, TX.
“It’s truly an honor to be the namesake of this award recognizing the best point guards in college basketball,” Lieberman said. “When you look at the list of winners over the past 16 years, we’ve celebrated some extraordinarily talented players and I can’t wait to see who will earn the right to have her name among these greats.”
Baylor graduate Odyssey Sims was honored with the Nancy Lieberman Award in 2014 after being a finalist in 2012 and 2013. The two-time All-American, a senior that season, averaged 28.5 points per game, shot 44.6 percent from the field and shot 39.8 percent from three-point range.
The list will be narrowed to 10 in mid-February, then again to five finalists in March. Finalists will be presented to Nancy Lieberman and the selection committee. The winner of the award will be recognized at the NCAA Women's Final Four in Dallas, Texas. The list is fluid and players have the ability to play themselves on or off the list until the final five finalists are announced.