Hats off to the Maroon Mamba!
Rachel Banham has cemented her legacy as one of the all time Minnesota Women's Basketball greats. Earlier this evening, the Big Ten officially announced that Rachel was named Big Ten Player of the Year!
It's a well deserved honor for the senior guard, who set or tied multiple Minnesota, Big Ten, and national stats records this season. In addition to being named POTY, Banham was also a unanimous 1st Team B1G selection for both the media and the coaches. On more than one occasion, Rachel carried the Gophers to a victory and while an NCAA tournament birth is still a question mark this season has been an enjoyable one all the same thanks to her amazing play. Her list of accomplishments (both this season and for her career) are both notable and lengthy (h/t Gopher Sports):
- Led the Big Ten by scoring a record 30.5 points per game during conference play.
- Broke the 31 year old conference record for points (529).
- Set the B1G conference record for made 3 pointers with 75.
- Is the all time leading scorer in the Big Ten.
- Averaged 27.7 ppg for the full season (leading the B1G and second in the country).
- Broke the Minnesota ppg record by 3.5 points per game over the previous mark.
- Scored at least 20 points in 27 of Minnesota's 29 games
- Her 803 points through today demolishes her previous Minnesota single season scoring record.
- Made 107 three pointers through today, also beating her own school record.
- Tied the NCAA single game scoring record with 60 points. Scored 52 points later in the year against Michigan State.
The POTY award means the Gophers have won the award in back to back seasons. Last year, Amanda Zahui B. was selected as POTY by the Big Ten media. This is the 5th overall POTY award for Minnesota. It is also the third time Rachel has been named as a 1st Team All B1G performer.
Carlie Wagner also honored
Rachel wasn't the only Gopher honored today. Sophomore phenom Carlie Wagner was named All 2nd Team B1G by both the media and coaches.
Wagner is averaging 19.3 points per game overall and averaged 19.9 during Big Ten play. Like Banham, the New Richland, Minnesota, native has reached double figures in every game this season. Wagner has 16 20-point games this year.
This is Carlie's second All-B1G award, having earned herself a spot on the All-Freshman Team last season.