The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) named fifth-year senior guard Arella Guirantes of the Rutgers women’s basketball team a top 10 candidate for the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award on Tuesday, according to Rutgers Athletics.
Named after former women’s NCAA Division I basketball player and Hall of Famer, Ann Meyers Drysdale, the award is presented annually to the best shooting guard in women’s NCAA Division I basketball. Having been first introduced in 2018, this will be the fourth consecutive year the award is handed out.
In March, five candidates will be selected as finalists to be presented to the Hall of Fame’s selection committee, as well as Meyers Drysdale. Those on the selection committee include media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. The winner of the award will be announced on April 9, along with the four other members of the Women’s Starting Five, according to Rutgers Athletics.
Guirantes was already a part of the 2021 preseason watch list for the award, but her continued excellence has put her among the top 10 candidates. Currently, Guirantes ranks top five in scoring, assists, blocks, steals and minutes in the Big Ten.
Guirantes is also the nation’s 13th highest scorer in points per game and 10th highest among guards, with approximately 23 points per game. Additionally, Guirantes ranks top 35 in the nation in assists (5.4), blocks (2.38) and steals (3.12) per game.
Her efforts have also led to selections as a candidate for the John R. Wooden Award for the most outstanding player, the Wade and Naismith Trophies for National Player of the Year and the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Just this season, Guirantes has notched two 30-point performances against Iowa and No. 10 Maryland, with 34 and 33 respectively, and recorded a triple-double in a win over Manhattan. Her triple-double was just the third in the Scarlet Knights' (5-3, 1-3) history and the fifth overall in the nation this season.
On Dec. 21, 2020, Guirantes was honored as the espnW National Player of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week. She’s also added another award for Big Ten Player of the Week to her resume since then.
Last season, Guirantes was the Big Ten’s scoring champion, averaging approximately 21 points per game, as well as the ninth highest scorer in the nation. Following her stellar year, Guirantes was unanimously selected to the First Team All-Big Ten, and she garnered All-America honorable mentions from the Associated Press, WBCA and U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
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