Women's College Basketball

Aneesah Morrow Wins Third National Freshman of the Year Award


CHICAGO – Aneesah Morrow is racking up postseason awards like she did rebounds in a record-breaking season at DePaul.

On Tuesday, the 6-foot, 1-inch power forward was honored by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) with the 2021-22 Tamika Catchings National Freshman Player of the Year Award.

Morrow will be recognized at the upcoming USBWA Awards Banquet hosted by the Missouri Athletic Club April 11 in St. Louis. Last year’s winner was Connecticut standout Paige Bueckers.

This latest accolade comes just 60 minutes after the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) selected her as its National Freshman of the Year.

It was the 10th award Morrow has received this month beginning with three from the BIG EAST on March 3.

Here is a rundown of all the acclaim bestowed upon the former Simeon All-Stater in the last 27 days.

Morrow’s March Madness
March 3

Unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team
Unanimous BIG EAST Freshman of the Year
Unanimous BIG EAST All-Freshman Team
March 9
Sports Illustrated All-American Second Team
The Athletic All-American Second Team
The Athletic National Freshman of the Year
March 16
Associated Press All-American Second Team
March 17
USBWA All-American Second Team
March 29
WBCA National Freshman of the Year
USBWA Tamika Catchings National Freshman Player of the Year Award

The cavalcade of accolades results from a soft-spoken, unassuming freshman leading the nation in rebounds, rebounds per game and offensive rebounds per game.

She is second in double-doubles with 27—one behind South Carolina’s Player of the Year front-runner Aliyah Boston who is headed to the Final Four. Morrow’s string of 23 consecutive double-doubles that ended at the BIG EAST tournament made her one of only five players in NCAA women’s basketball history to rack up 20-straight in one season.

The Blue Demon rookie is also third in the country in field goals, sixth in points and No. 8 in steals. She averaged a double-double with 21.9 points and 13.8 rebounds.

She made history as the first player ever to win five USBWA National Freshman of Week awards and the first to win 13 BIG EAST Freshman of the Week awards. The previous USBWA standard of four was held by the country’s top two sophomores—Bueckers and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, the nation’s leading scorer.

Morrow was at a whole another level Jan. 21-26 when she finished with 33 points and 15 rebounds against Butler, 32 points and 15 boards against Xavier and 30 points and 14 rebounds against NCAA Elite Eight power Connecticut.

According to ESPN Stats and Information Research, that was the first time a NCAA women’s basketball player had strung together three consecutive games of 30 points and 10 rebounds since current Washington Mystics star Alyssa Clark accomplished the feat for Middle Tennessee in 2010.

Morrow said she played with a chip on her shoulder after not being ranked among ESPN’s top 100 recruits in the class of 2021. Interest waned from the top schools after she endured a series of injuries.

That mindset was front and center at the season opener when she became the first freshman in coach Doug Bruno’s 36-year Hall of Fame career to score 31 points in her NCAA debut.

Morrow would go on to break 11 BIG EAST records including most rebounds in a game (27 at Seton Hall) and most rebounds in a season (BIG EAST games). The 27 boards set an NCAA season high. Her 41 points at Creighton set a new freshman standard.

She is a national finalist for two of the most prestigious awards in women’s college basketball—the John Wooden Player of the Year and the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year. She is among the five finalists for the Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year Award and was a top 10 finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.

ESPN was the first to proclaim her the No. 1 freshman in the land, and that was well before she shattered the DePaul all-time record for rebounds in a season with 457. The previous mark was 397 by All-American Diana Vines in 1986-87.

Morrow has also set a new season record for rebounds per game with 13.8, eclipsing Vines’ 13.7 in 1986-87.

USBWA National Freshman Player of the Year
Tamika Catchings Award
2021-22 Aneesah Morrow, DePaul

2020-21 Paige Bueckers, UConn; Caitlin Clark, Iowa


USBWA National Freshman Player of the Year
2019-20 Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
2018-19 Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
2017-18 Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M
2016-17 Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon
2015-16 Kristine Anigwe, California
2014-15 Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State
2013-14 Diamond DeShields, North Carolina
2012-13 Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame
2011-12 Elizabeth Williams, Duke
2010-11 Odyssey Sims, Baylor
2009-10 Brittney Griner, Baylor
2008-09 Shekinna Stricklen, Tennessee
2007-08 Maya Moore, UConn
2006-07 Tina Charles, UConn
2005-06 Courtney Paris, Oklahoma
2004-05 Tasha Humphrey, Georgia; Candice Wiggins, Stanford
2003-04 Tiffany Jackson, Texas
2002-03 Seimone Augustus, LSU
2001-02 Jacqueline Batteast, Notre Dame
2000-01 Alana Beard, Duke
1999-00 LaToya Thomas, Mississippi State
1998-99 Linda Froehlich, UNLV
1997-98 Tamika Catchings, Tennessee
1996-97 Shea Ralph, UConn
1995-96 Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee
1994-95 Korie Hlede, Duquesne
1993-94 Leslie Johnson, Purdue
1992-93 Katie Smith, Ohio State
1991-92 Niesa Johnson, Alabama


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