’Nova’s Brunson nets award
SAN ANTONIO — Villanova guard Jalen Brunson is The Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year.
The 6-3 junior is being presented with the award Thursday at the Final Four, where the Wildcats are chasing their second national championship in three seasons. He earned 36 of 65 votes from AP Top 25 writers with ballots submitted before the start of the NCAA Tournament.
Oklahoma freshman Trae Young was second with 15 votes after leading the country in scoring and assists. Arizona freshman Deandre Ayton earned seven votes, followed by Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III with four votes. All three have all declared for the NBA draft.
Brunson is averaging 19.2 points and shooting nearly 53 percent entering Saturday’s national semifinal against Kansas. He’s the first Villanova player to win the AP award.
Wilson women’s winner
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A’ja Wilson of South Carolina is The Associated Press women’s college basketball player of the year.
The 6-foot-5 star received 22 votes Thursday from 32-member national media panel that selects the weekly AP Top 25. Katie Lou Samuelson of UConn received five votes while Kalani Brown of Baylor, Asia Durr of Louisville, Megan Gustafson of Iowa, Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon and Victoria Vivians of Mississippi State each received one vote.
Virginia’s Tony Bennett and Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw were the respective coaches of the year.