UConn star Paige Bueckers named first team AP All-American, Aaliyah Edwards, Nika Muhl get honorable mention

UConn women’s basketball star Paige Bueckers earned her second All-American award of the season Wednesday, named to the Associated Press first team after garnering first-team recognition from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Huskies forward Aaliyah Edwards, who earned second-team honors from the USBWA, received an honorable mention nod from the AP, as did senior point guard Nika Muhl. Virginia Tech, a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament, was the only team with more than one player selected across three All-America teams.

Bueckers previously made the first team as a freshman in 2021 when she was also the AP Player of the Year, but she had not played another complete regular season until this year. An ACL tear in August 2022 caused Bueckers to miss her entire junior season, and she also sat out 19 games in 2021-22 after undergoing surgery on a tibial plateau fracture.

In 2024 Bueckers is averaging a career-high 21.3 points, and her 53.8% field goal percentage ranks second in the country among guards. The star point guard spends most of her minutes as a power forward in UConn’s injury-decimated lineup, also logging 4.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.4 blocks and 2.2 steals per game. She was named the Big East Player of the Year and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the Huskies to a fourth consecutive championship.

Bueckers is also a semifinalist for Naismith Player of the Year and the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award given to the nation’s best shooting guard. She and Edwards both made the 15-player national ballot for the Wooden Award, and Edwards is a finalist for the Karina McClain Award for the top power forward in the country.

Edwards was a third-team AP All-American last year and is having the best season of her career in 2023-24. Her 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game are both career highs, and she logged the first 30-point game of her career with 33 against St. John’s on Feb. 4. She also logged seven of her 16 double-doubles in the Huskies’ last 10 games. Edwards sat out most of the Big East Tournament after breaking her nose in UConn’s first game but was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection.

Muhl’s honorable mention nod is the first All-American recognition of her career. She is averaging 7.1 points, 6.4 assists and four rebounds per game shooting career-highs from the field at 47.5% and 3-point range at 40.5%. She ranks second all-time at UConn in career assists with 651, behind only four-time national champion Moriah Jefferson.

The rest of the first team included Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, USC guard JuJu Watkins, Stanford forward Cameron Brink and Notre Dame guard Hannah Hidalgo. Watkins led USC to the 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament’s Portland 3 regional, so Bueckers could go head-to-head with the freshman phenom as soon as the Elite Eight if UConn makes it as a 3-seed.

The Huskies (29-5) will open March Madness against 14-seed Jackson State (26-6) in the first round at Gampel Pavilion on Saturday (1 p.m., ABC).