Ali Patberg Earns Spot On John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30

LOS ANGELES, Calif.– Indiana senior guard Ali Patberg has been named to the 2021 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s women’s basketball preseason top 30. The list is comprised of 30 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team™ and Most Outstanding Player Award.

Patberg is coming off a 2019-20 season where she earned All-Big Ten First Team honoree and WBCA All-American honorable mention selection. She returns for her sixth season of eligibility this season after an impressive junior campaign in which she led the team in scoring with 15.6 points per game. She also led the program with 5.3 assists per game (third in the Big Ten) and averaged 4.6 rebounds while shooting 49 percent from the floor. As a junior, she was a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award in 2019-20 and was featured on watch lists including the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and Ann Meyers Drysdale Award. In the 2020-21 season opener, Patberg went 7-for-11 from the floor for 18 points, three assists and two rebounds.

The Columbus, Ind. native has also garnered attention already this preseason as a preseason All-Big Ten honoree, 2021 Nancy Lieberman Award watch list, 2021 Naismith Trophy watch list and 2021 Wade Trophy watch list. 

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2021 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award™ midseason list, late season list, and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team™ will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2021 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s following the NCAA Tournament in April.

John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s

Women’s Basketball Preseason Top 30

NameSchoolConferenceHeightClassPosition
Aliyah BostonSouth CarolinaSEC6-5So.F
Paige BueckersConnecticutBig East5-11Fr.G
Charli CollierTexasBig 126-5Jr.F/C
Zia CookeSouth CarolinaSEC5-9So.G
Elissa CunaneNC StateACC6-5Jr.C
Rennia DavisTennesseeSEC6-2Sr.G/F
Chelsea DungeeArkansasSEC5-11Sr.G
Dana EvansLouisvilleACC5-6Sr.G
Vivian GrayTexas TechBig 126-1Sr.G
Arella GuirantesRutgersBig Ten5-11Sr.G
Naz HillmonMichiganBig Ten6-2Jr.F
Rhyne Howard*KentuckySEC6-2Jr.G
Lexie HullStanfordPAC-126-0Jr.G
Rickea JacksonMississippi StateSEC6-2So.F
Ashley JoensIowa StateBig 126-0Jr.G/F
N’dea JonesTexas A&MSEC6-2Sr.F
Ayoka LeeKansas StateBig 126-6So.C
Kiara LewisSyracuseACC5-8Sr.G
Tiana MangakahiaSyracuseACC5-6Sr.G
Aari McDonaldArizonaPAC-125-6Sr.G
Olivia Nelson-OdodaConnecticutBig East6-5Jr.F
Michaela OnyenwereUCLAPAC-126-0Sr.F
Ali PatbergIndianaBig Ten5-11Sr.G
Lindsey PulliamNorthwesternBig Ten5-10Sr.G
Destiny SlocumArkansasSEC5-7Sr.G
NaLyssa SmithBaylorBig 126-2Jr.F
Unique ThompsonAuburnSEC6-3Sr.F
Evina WestbrookConnecticutBig East6-0Jr.G
Christyn WilliamsConnecticutBig East5-11Jr.G
Kiana WilliamsStanfordPAC-125-8Sr.G