STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Following a record-breaking junior campaign, Mississippi State senior center Teaira McCowan has been named to the watch list for the Lisa Leslie Award, the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced Friday.
The Preseason SEC Player of the Year was one of 20 candidates selected to the watch list for the award, which is presented to the nation's top center in NCAA Division I. She was named one of five finalists for the honor a year ago.
One of two SEC players named to the list, McCowan’s selection comes a day after teammate Anriel Howard was named to the Katrina McClain watch list for the nation’s best power forward.
The pair are the SEC's active career rebounders, with McCowan's 1,015 boards sitting just ahead of Howard's 1,002. McCowan’s total ranks third among current NCAA Division I players, while Howard’s tally rates fourth.
During Mississippi State's historic 2017-18 season, McCowan earned All-American honors from the WBCA, ESPNW and the Associated Press, and she was also tabbed the inaugural Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.
The Brenham, Texas, native was also named First Team All-SEC and the league’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year after starting all 39 games and averaging 18.2 ppg and a nation’s second-most 13.9 rpg.
McCowan grabbed an SEC-record 544 rebounds in 2017-18, the second-most by a NCAA Division I player in a season.
She also ranked second in the NCAA last season with a league-record 29 double-doubles that tied for 10th-most in Division I annals.
After guiding MSU to a repeat appearance in the national championship game, McCowan earned the Kansas City Regional Co-Most Outstanding Player and was named to the NCAA All-Final Four Team. The only player in NCAA Tournament history to record multiple 20-point, 20-rebound games, she averaged 20.8 ppg and set tournament records with 109 rebounds and 18.2 rpg in guiding the Dawgs to Columbus, Ohio.
She enters her senior season first at MSU in career field goal percentage with a 57-percent tally and second in blocks with 184. McCowan also owns the school mark in career double-doubles with 39, a total that is tops among current SEC players.
McCowan and the Bulldogs host NCAA Division II National Champion Central Missouri in a 6 p.m. exhibition on Nov. 2. The Bulldogs officially open the 2018-19 campaign in The Hump Nov. 6 against Southeast Missouri State.
General admission upper level season tickets can still be purchased online at www.hailstate.com/hoops or by calling the MSU Ticket Office at 1-888-GO-DAWGS.
Fans can stay updated on Mississippi State women’s basketball by following “HailStateWBK” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
2019 Lisa Leslie Award Candidates
Cal State Northridge