2023 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Finalists
Five student-athletes representing four conferences named finalists
Hopewell, N.J. (March 1, 2023) – We are proud to announce the five finalists for the 2023 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award presented by Her Hoop Stats. The Becky Hammon Award was first given out in 2020, with South Dakota’s Ciara Duffy being named the inaugural winner. FGCU’s Kierstan Bell won the award in 2021 and 2022.
Below are the five finalists, listed in alphabetical order by school. This year’s finalists include representatives from five schools and four conferences. South Dakota State’s Myah Selland becomes the second player in the award’s history to be named a finalist two times, while the WCC becomes the second conference to feature two finalists in the same season.
The WCC has now had three different players make a finalist list, which is tied with the Summit League all-time. Massachusetts’ Sam Breen is the first A-10 player to be named a finalist, and Drexel’s Keishana Washington becomes the second finalist from the CAA. All stats only include games against Division I opponents unless otherwise noted and are through games on Feb. 27.
Keishana Washington, Drexel, Gr., G
2022-23 Stats: 27.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.4 SPG
Previous Appearances: 2023 Semifinalist, 2023 Midseason
Washington has flourished in her fifth season with Drexel, ranking third in Division I in scoring average at 27.1. This is a big leap from last season when she averaged 19.2 points per contest. Unlike many players experiencing such a jump in scoring volume, her scoring efficiency has actually increased as well with her 0.96 points per play a career-best.
Washington has also grown as a facilitator, averaging 4.0 assists per game following her average of 2.6 last season. Much like her scoring increase also came with an increase in efficiency, Washington’s growth as a distributor has been accompanied by a drop in turnover rate.
She is currently the only player in the country to post an assist rate of over 30% and a turnover rate below 10% (min. 500 minutes). If she can keep that up, she would be just the third player to do so since 2009-10, and the first one to do it while also scoring 25-plus points per game.
Yvonne Ejim, Gonzaga, Jr., F
2022-23 Stats: 16.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 0.9 BPG, 1.4 SPG
Previous Appearances: 2023 Semifinalist, 2023 Midseason
Ejim has seen a big increase in usage for Gonzaga this year, making the most of her extra minutes to become a leader on a Bulldogs team that has been nationally ranked for much of this season. Ejim has largely stayed on the court for longer this season thanks to a sizable drop in her foul rate. Last season’s 7.0% foul rate was unsustainable for a player the Zags rely on heavily.
With those extra minutes, Ejim has also increased her scoring volume (16.4 points per game vs. 10.1), scoring efficiency (1.00 points per play vs. 0.88), and rebounding on both ends of the court (ranks in the top 5% for offensive and defensive rebounds per game).
Another area of her game that people may overlook is her growth in limiting turnovers. After posting a turnover rate in the bottom half of qualified players last season, Ejim is now solidly better than average ranking in the top 16% nationally.
Sam Breen, Massachusetts, Gr., F
2022-23 Stats: 17.9 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.6 SPG
Previous Appearances: 2022 & 2023 Semifinalist, 2022 & 2023 Midseason, 2023 Preseason
Breen continues to be one of the nation’s most consistent players, now in her fourth season with Massachusetts following one-plus seasons at Penn State. Breen and the Minutewomen recently clinched the No. 1 seed in the A-10 conference tournament and also set a program high for conference wins in a season at 14.
Breen is on pace to post her fourth consecutive season averaging 15 points, nine rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. No other player since 2009-10 has posted more than three such seasons (min. 15 games played). What has made this season special for Breen is that she has been able to put together all the best parts of her game in a single year.
Breen’s 2-point field-goal percentage has risen nearly as high as it was in the shortened 2020-21 season. Her 3-point and free-throw percentage have surpassed the career bests she posted in 2019-20. She has averaged a full assist more per game than last season, and her 2.7% foul rate is the best of her career.
Alex Fowler, Portland, Jr., F
2022-23 Stats: 17.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.7 SPG
Previous Appearances: 2023 Semifinalist, 2023 Midseason, 2021 & 2023 Preseason
Fowler has been an efficient volume scorer since her first collegiate game, but this year her efficiency has reached a new level. Fowler is one of four players in Division I to average at least 1.28 points per scoring attempt while scoring at least 17 points per game (min. 20 games played). The other players on that list are a who’s who of the nation’s elite scoring bigs: Mackenzie Holmes, Alissa Pili, and Monika Czinano.
Fowler’s increase in scoring efficiency comes largely from a jump in her shooting percentage inside the arc, rising from 58.3% up to 62.5%, but her free-throw shooting has also improved this season. Fowler, whose 5.3 attempts from the stripe per game is in the top 2% nationally, has raised her free-throw percentage from 73.5% up to 79.2%.
To complement her scoring, Fowler has also seen an uptick in assists, up to 3.3 per game vs. 3.1 in 2021-22, along with a decrease in turnovers. This has resulted in the highest assist-to-turnover ratio of her career, 1.42, which ranks in the top 12% nationally.
Myah Selland, South Dakota St., R-Sr., F
2022-23 Stats: 16.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.6 SPG
Previous Appearances: 2021 Finalist, 2021 & 2023 Semifinalist, 2023 Midseason, 2022 & 2023 Preseason
Selland and the Jackrabbits are cruising this season and are looking to break through after three straight disappointing exits in the Summit League tournament. In fact, all the blowout victories in conference play mean Selland’s counting stats don’t tell the full story of how dominant she has been.
Selland has been shooting a ridiculous 55.2% from behind the arc against conference opponents on 3.7 attempts per game. This is a big reason for her conference-leading 1.41 PPSA in conference play this season, which is easily the highest in her career.
For the full season, Selland’s 1.32 PPSA is also a career-high and ranks fifth in the nation among players averaging at least 16 points per game. Of that list of five players, Selland leads the group in 3-point percentage, assists, and steals per game.
Award Eligibility & Schedule
To be eligible for this award, players must compete in one of the 26 conferences deemed to be “mid-major.” The following conferences are considered high-major for the purposes of this award, and thus ineligible: ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC. In October, the 25-player preseason watch list was announced. The 15 midseason watch list members were announced in February, and the 10 semifinalists were announced in February. The winner will be announced in late March. The list is fluid and players may play their way on or off the list over the course of the season.
About Becky Hammon
Hammon was a three-time All-American during her career at Colorado State and led the Rams to the Sweet 16 in 1999, the program’s only appearance to date. She was signed by the New York Liberty in 1999 and traded to the San Antonio Stars in 2007, where she played the rest of her career. Hammon retired in 2014 as a six-time All-Star and a two-time All-WNBA First Team honoree. In 2016 she was named one of the top 20 players in WNBA history and was recently named to the W25.
Hammon became the second female coach in NBA history when she began coaching for the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. Additionally, Hammon is the only woman to be a head coach in the NBA Summer League as well as the only woman to be a member of an NBA All-Star coaching staff. Currently, Hammon is the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces and won the 2022 WNBA Championship in her first season.
About Her Hoop Stats
Her Hoop Stats was founded in 2017 to unlock better insight about women's basketball at all levels. We began as a statistics site focused on providing consistent, reliable, and easy-to-access data about women's basketball for both mobile and desktop environments. Her Hoop Stats has expanded to become a leading independent voice in the women's game providing content through our newsletter, podcast network, YouTube channel, and social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
Thanks for reading The Her Hoop Stats Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.