Junior guard Jalen Brunson’s efficiency and basketball smarts have defined his three seasons in a Wildcats uniform.
In 2017-18, Brunson stepped forward as one of the Wildcats leaders, averaging 19.1 points and 4.7 assists per game for a 32-4 unit that earned the BIG EAST Tournament title and advanced the NCAA Tournament for the second time in his three seasons. His +2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked second in the BIG EAST (168 assists, 62 turnovers) and he was the conference’s choice as its Player of the Year.
The product of Lincolnshire, Ill., is the son of former Temple standout and nine year NBA veteran and current Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach Rick Brunson and his wife Sandra.
In addition to being a standout on the court, Brunson excels in the classroom. The Communication major is a Second Team CoSIDA Academic All-American and received the BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year award. He is on schedule to complete his degree requirements in the summer of 2018.
The first three-time SEC Player of the Year in the prestigious history of the league, South Carolina senior A’ja Wilson capped her decorated college career with her best statistical season. Even as opponents were locked onto stopping her with multiple defenders and every scheme imaginable, the agile 6-foot-5 forward dominated games, ranking in the top 10 in the nation in double-doubles as well as scoring, rebounding and blocked shot averages. She scored in double figures in all but one game this season, including 19 20-point outings, to lead the SEC in scoring with 22.6 points per game. A multi-dimensional weapon, Wilson was the SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in her career as she ranked among the nation’s best defensive rebounders with an SEC-best 8.5 per game to go along with her 3.3 blocks per game. Despite losing three top-10 WNBA Draft picks from last season’s national championship team, the Gamecocks followed Wilson to a league-record fourth-straight SEC Tournament championship and their fifth-straight NCAA Sweet 16.