Congratulations to Cal senior Kristine Anigwe on being named the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year earlier this week.
No one in the nation has been better on the boards— Cal Basketball (@CalWBBall) March 6, 2019
The 2019 #Pac12WBB Defensive Player of the Year is our own No. 31 & Berkeley’s double-double queen: @KristineAnigwe #Earned pic.twitter.com/Hr9GFDEBOF
The Cal senior forward-center has been a double-double machine all year long, leading the entire nation with 16.4 rebounds per game. She is the first Golden Bears to win this honor since it started 12 years ago.
In Pac-12 play, Anigwe increased her rebounding to 18.1 total rebounds per game, with 11.9 defensive rebounds per game. This was capped by her 30 rebound performance at Washington State last weekend, which was also her 30th consecutive double-double (in points and rebounds). Golden Bears will have a rematch against Washington State tonight (Thursday, March 7th) in the opening round of the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball tournament from Las Vegas.
Anigwe also excelled in other defensive numbers, averaging 1.8 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. The senior has already claimed the Cal all-time record in points (2,519 career points and counting) and rebounds (1,347 career rebounds and counting) earlier this season; she is one block short of tying the Cal record heading into the 2019 postseason.
Despite leading the Pac in rebounds and also averaging 23.1 points per game (2nd in the conference), Anigwe is only the Defensive Player of the Year as the Oregon Ducks’ Sabrina Ionescu, a triple-double threat nightly, was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year. Kristine Anigwe is one of the 10 finalist for the Naismith National Player of the Year. She is also projected to be a first round draft pick in the WNBA draft in April.
Cal Bears will hope to make a long Pac-12 tournament run to improve their NCAA tournament seeding. Most bracketologists have the Bears at that dreadful 8th/9th seed currently. Of course, with a special player like Kristine Anigwe leading the way, one should not be shocked if the Golden Bears make a deep run in the NCAA tournament this March.