Alyssa Ustby on National Award Watch List

After a tough exit against Ohio State, in the Round of 32 during the 2023 NCAA Tournament, the UNC women’s basketball team is setting its sights even higher.

So far in ACC play, the Tar Heels look like a significantly-improved team.

Behind a heavy veteran presence, UNC (14-5, 6-1) is tied atop the ACC with Syracuse. North Carolina beat the Orange head-to-head, so technically, North Carolina is the current leader.

Tar Heels head coach Courtney Banghart utilized the offseason transfer portal extremely effectively, snatching a pair of starters in Maria Gakdeng and Lexi Donarski. Indya Nivar, whose minutes make her UNC’s unofficial “sixth woman,” is a key piece of depth who flirts with starting playing time.

While star guard Deja Kelly leads North Carolina in scoring, it’s hear teammate who’s on a National watch list.

Alyssa Ustby, the senior forward from Minnesota who nearly averages a double-double (12.6 points, 9.5 rebounds per game), was named to the Cheryl Miller Award Top 10 list.

The Cheryl Miller Award goes to the top small forward in all of women’s college basketball.

Ustby finds herself in the Top 10 for the second-consecutive season, plus on the entire watch list for a third-straight year. She is joined in the ACC by Lousiville’s Kiki Jefferson.

If Ustby is indeed named a finalist, she’ll be notified in March. If Ustby wins, she’ll be notified upon conclusion of the 2023-2024 campaign.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire