Sabrina Ionescu capped an unprecedented college career by entering an exclusive club.
The Oregon star was a unanimous choice Monday as The Associated Press women's basketball player of the year, receiving all 30 votes from the national media panel that selects the AP Top 25 each week during the season. Since the award was first given in 1995, the only other player to receive all the votes is Breanna Stewart, who did so during her 2015-16 senior season at Connecticut as she won the honor a record third time.
"That's pretty crazy. Someone I look up to and have a good relationship with," Ionescu told the AP of Stewart, who was the WNBA rookie of the year in 2016 and in 2018 was voted MVP for the season and the title series after leading the Seattle Storm to the championship. "To be in that class with her is an honor."
Ionescu, who last week became only the eighth player voted an AP All-American three times, shattered the NCAA career triple-double mark and became the first player in college history to have 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.
"Sabrina is a transcendent basketball player," Oregon coach Kelly Graves said of the 5-foot-11 guard. "There's really nothing that she couldn't do on the court. She was the ultimate leader."
Ioenscu came back for her senior season, saying she had unfinished business and hopes of winning a NCAA title after leading the program to its first Final Four appearance. She averaged 17.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds this past season, when she posted eight of her 26 career triple-doubles.
She helped the Ducks win the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles. The native of Walnut Creek, California, was honored as the conference's MVP for the tournament and regular season.
Ionescu guided Oregon to a 31-2 mark this past season, which ended prematurely with the cancellation of the NCAA tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic.
While Ionescu was a unanimous choice, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley received 20 votes from the panel to win the AP's women's basketball coach of the year award for the first time. Northwestern coach Joe McKeown was second with five votes, Graves garnered four ballots and North Carolina State's Wes Moore, the former longtime University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach, received one.
South Carolina finished the season 32-1, winning the Southeastern Conference's regular-season and tournament championships. The Gamecocks won their final 26 games and were No 1 in the AP poll for the final 10 weeks of the season.
Staley, who led the program to its first NCAA title in 2017, was hoping for another run.
"I would have liked to continue to face the challenges in the NCAA tournament," she said.