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Patberg a contender for multiple women’s player of the year honors

More preseason recognition for Indiana’s star guard

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Iowa vs Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana can expect to have one of the best players in the country commanding its backcourt this season.

The preseason honors continue to roll in for IU senior guard Ali Patberg, who on Tuesday was named to the watch lists for the Wade Trophy and the Naismith Trophy. Now in its 44th year, the Wade Trophy is considered the oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award in women’s basketball. The Naismith Trophy has been in circulation on the women’s side since 1983.

A Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-America honorable mention selection last season, Patberg carries high expectations into the 2020-21 season after leading Indiana with 15.6 points and 5.3 assists per game as a junior. Patberg, who is only 11 points shy of 1,000 for her career, also averaged 4.6 rebounds and shot 49 percent from the field last winter.

Earlier this month, she was also named to the Nancy Lieberman Award watch list, in addition to receiving All-Big Ten preseason recognition.

Patberg is merely the third Wade Trophy candidate in Indiana history, joining Tyra Buss, who received preseason consideration in 2017 and 2018, and Denise Jackson, who was a finalist in 1983 and 1984.