SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Tashia Brown, one of the top candidates for C-USA Player of the
Year, has been named one of the 10 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Hall of Fame’s 2018 Cheryl Miller Award, presented annually to the top Division I
small forward in the nation.
Brown is the first player in both WKU and C-USA history to be named a finalist for
the prestigious award, named after the three-time Naismith Player of the Year and
1995 Hall of Fame inductee. The Lake Park, Ga., native is currently averaging 23.1
points per game, the best mark among all C-USA players and the sixth-best total
nationally among Division I players.
Besides Brown, only one other finalist for the award, Gonzaga’s Jill Barta, hails
from a non-Power 5 program.
One of the top scoring threats in Lady Topper Basketball history, Brown has already
begun to put her name in the discussion as one of the all-time great players for the
program. With 1,817 career points, she ranks seventh in school history in scoring
and has already surpassed WKU Hall of Famers Clemette Haskins, ShaRae Mansfield and
Kami Thomas in that category. The dangerous scorer is also on pace to become just
the fourth 2,000-point scorer in WKU history and 10th in the C-USA record book.
Not only has Brown been a consistent scorer with 16 20-point games this season,
including a stretch of nine straight earlier in the campaign, she has also collected
a career-best 4.9 rebounds per game, by far her best total in a single season. Often
playing from a point-forward spot, Brown has also dished out 50 assists, the
second-best mark on the team, and has 44 steals, already just one shy of her
single-season best total.
Brown has exploded for a trio of 30-point games this season, including a 30-point
performance in the season-opening upset win over then-No. 16/16 Missouri and fellow
finalist Sophie Cunningham. The senior poured in a season-best 33 points at Marshall
on Jan. 21, her career-best mark in a regulation game and just one less than her
34-point outburst at Old Dominion as a sophomore.
In four outings against Power 5 opponents this season, Brown averaged 21.3 points,
5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while also coming away with 13 total steals.
In addition to her 30-point game against Missouri, Brown helped the Lady Toppers
push Notre Dame to the brink inside E.A. Diddle Arena on Nov. 14 with 25 points;
behind Brown’s strong game, WKU was in a one-possession game against the perennial
national championship contender as late as the third quarter.
Already a three-time C-USA Player of the Week selection this season, Brown holds the
school record for field goals attempted in a career with 1,621 and ranks in the top
10 in program history for field goals made (eighth, 690) and free throws made
The Selection Committee for the Cheryl Miller Award is composed of top women’s
college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports
information directors and Hall of Famers. In March, five finalists will be presented
to Ms. Miller and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fans will also have the
opportunity to vote for their favorite finalists to determine the Naismith Starting
5 at www.hoophallawards.com.
The winner of the 2018 Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award will be announced during
ESPN2’s telecast of the national semifinal games in the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four
in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, March 30. Additional awards being presented include
the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award,
the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, as well as
the Wade Trophy, the sport’s oldest and most prestigious national player of the year
award which is presented annually by the WBCA’s community of coaches to the best
player in collegiate women’s basketball.
2018 Cheryl Miller Award Finalists
Gabby Williams, Connecticut
Shakayla Thomas, Florida State
Jill Barta, Gonzaga
Bridget Carleton, Iowa State
Kaila Charles, Maryland
Sophie Cunningham, Missouri
Jaime Nared, Tennessee
Ariel Atkins, Texas
Teana Muldrow, West Virginia
Tashia Brown, WKU
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