Keiera Ray named USBWA National Player of the Week

27461_01232013_whoops_temple0070fAs if Keiera Ray’s performance last week didn’t stand out enough, it is now being recognized on a national scale.

The freshman guard became the first Ivy League player to win the Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week, given out by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Ray led the Quakers to two wins over Harvard and Dartmouth last weekend, scoring 50 combined points over the course of the two games. This included a 31-point effort against Harvard that culminated with seven free throws in the final 80 seconds of the game. That performance helped secure Penn’s first victory over the Crimson since 2004.

Ray was also selected as co-Ivy League Player of the Week with Princeton’s Niveen Rasheed while also being named Ivy League Rookie of the Week. It was the first time this season that a Penn women's basketball player received the Ancient Eight’s Player of the Week award.

The 5-foot-11 guard’s performance on Friday and Saturday helped move the Red and Blue into second place in the Ivy League while giving Penn its best seven-game start to conference play since 2004.


Alyssa Baron is Ivy Rookie of the Year

It might not be a surprise, but Penn guard Alyssa Baron was named Ivy League Rookie of the year after a stellar freshman campaign in which she won the Ancient Eight scoring title, averaging 16.6 points per game — 2.7 points more than her closest competitor.

Along with award, Baron was an honorable mention in all-Ivy team voting and was picked for the all-Rookie team. She was the only Penn player to make an all-Ivy list this year.

The Miami native is just the second-ever ROY selection for Penn after Diana Caramanico receieved the honor 13 years ago. She's the first-ever freshman to take home the scoring title, and is tied for third in Ivy women's history for most Rookie of the Week awards received with seven. She was also third in the league this season in minutes per game, trailing teammate Erin Power and Player of the Year Addie Micir of Princeton.
The full Ivy-women's honor roll is as follows:

Player of the Year
*Addie Micir, Princeton (Sr., G, Newton, Pa.)

Rookie of the Year
Alyssa Baron, Penn (Fr., G, Miami, Fla.)

Defensive Player of the Year
Lauren Polansky, Princeton (So., G, Mill Valley, Calif.)

First Team All-Ivy (6)
*Devona Allgood, Princeton (Jr., C, Huntersville, N.C.)
Kathleen Barry, Columbia (Sr., G, Valley Center, Calif.)
*Brogan Berry, Harvard (Jr., G, Beavercreek, Ohio)
*Addie Micir, Princeton (Sr., G, Newton, Pa.)
Lauren Edwards, Princeton (Jr., G, Los Angeles)
Megan Vasquez, Yale (So., G, Merrick, N.Y.)

Second Team All-Ivy (5)
Sheila Dixon, Brown (So., G, Schenectady, N.Y.)
Mady Gobrecht, Yale (Sr., F, New Haven, Conn.)
Victoria Lippert, Harvard (So., G, San Diego)
Emma Markley, Harvard (Sr., F, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.)
Faziah Steen, Dartmouth (So., G, Kalamazoo, Mich.)

Honorable Mention (3)
Alyssa Baron, Penn (Fr., G, Miami, Fla.)
Michelle Cashen, Yale (Jr., F, Belle Harbor, N.Y.)
Clare Fitzpatrick, Cornell (So., F, Southbury, Conn.)

Rookie Team (5)
*Alyssa Baron, Penn (Fr., G, Miami, Fla.)
*Christine Clark, Harvard (Fr., G, Tucson, Ariz.)
Lauren Clarke, Brown (Fr., G, Colts Neck, N.J.)
*Janna Graf, Yale (Fr., F, Mission Woods, Kan.)
Brianna Orlich, Columbia (Fr., G, Fresno, Calif.)

*unanimous selection

Bushnell Cup voting explained

After many questions as to how exactly the Bushnell Cup is awarded and how the four finalists are chosen: an answer, with much thanks to the always-helpful Scottie Rogers of the Ivy League office.

For starters, the voting is as it has been for quite some time. The only thing that changed was how the award was presented, with four finalists being named and then the award given to the winner(s) at the ceremony Monday.

The process begins when each coach nominates his own players for the award. Then all of the coaches votes among the nominated players, but not for players from his team. The coaches pick their top three, with first place getting five points, second getting three points and third gets one point. (This system is the same for all Ivy sports with similar awards).

This is where the presentation changed this year: based on the point totals, the top X candidates are considered "finalists" for the Bushnell Cup. That X can change each year depending on how the voting goes. This year, based on the point totals, four players (Billy Ragone, Gino Gordon, Matt Schwieger and Trey Peacock) were considered finalists. The original plan, according to Rogers, was to have three finalists, but based on the way voting happened this year, four were named.

Basically, the "finalists" are for show. The award is already determined before they are announced, based on the coaches' ranked voting.

Making the National Honor Roll

We normally don't make a big deal out of Penn football players who win Ivy League Player of the Week awards, since there are so many of them you can get on the list for just 73 total yards.

But the following nod certainly deserves recognition.  After earning two interceptions, recovering a fumble, deflecting two passes and notching six tackles -- including one for a loss -- senior defensive back Britton Ertman received FCS National Defensive Player of the Week honors, as announced by The Sports Network.

(Since I hate having a short, two-paragraph Buzz post, I thought I'd throw in this nugget:  The women's basketball team was picked sixth in the Ivy League media preseason poll.)