COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou Women’s Basketball senior guard Sophie Cunningham (Columbia, Mo.) is one of 30 candidates named to the preseason watch list for the 2019 Wooden Award, as announced by ESPN. The list is comprised of student-athletes who are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
Last season, Cunningham was named to the Wooden Award preseason top 30, midseason top 25, late season top 20 and the national ballot.
The list is chosen by a preseason poll of women’s college basketball media members. Cunningham is one of six players from the Southeastern Conference on the list. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2019 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s, the nation’s top individual honor.
Players not chosen to the preseason list are eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Voting will open prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games.
Last month, Cunningham was named to the Preseason Watch List for the Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year Award (Oct. 24), and was named Preseason All-SEC First team by both the league’s coaches (Oct. 30) and media members (Oct. 16).
Cunningham averaged 18.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in her junior campaign, and was the only player in the nation to shoot better than 54 percent from the field (54.2 percent, 186-for-343), 45 percent from three (45.7 percent, 69-for-151) and 83 percent from the free throw line (83.6 percent, 133-for-159). She scored in double figures in 28 of 31 games she played in, and ranked fourth in the NCAA in three-point percentage as she earned AP All-America Honorable Mention and All-SEC First Team honors, each for the second consecutive season.
Cunningham helped lead Mizzou to its third straight NCAA Tournament berth and 24 wins in 2017-18, feats which have not been accomplished at Mizzou since the mid-1980s. The Tigers spent the entire season ranked in the AP Top 25, and ranked as high as No. 9 in the Coaches Poll, their highest ranking in that poll in program history.
— Mizzou Athletics —