Paige Bueckers, the former Hopkins star now shining for No. 1 UConn, is only the third freshman to make the AP women's All-America team. She isn't only the best freshman on the best team in this year's NCAA women's tournament. She's arguably the nation's top player.
Bueckers is one of several players who proudly represents the state of Minnesota in their quests for an NCAA title this year. As their dancing soon gets underway, take a look at Minnesotans to watch in the 2021 women's basketball tournament.
Paige Bueckers, Connecticut
Freshman guard, 5-11 •Hopkins
The most coveted high school player in the nation from 2020 needs no introduction. She has lived up to her billing, leading the No. 1-ranked Huskies with 19.8 points, 6.1 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Bueckers is the third freshman ever named to the AP All-America team and one of 11 finalists for the Naismith trophy, presented to the best college player.
Monika Czinano, Iowa
Junior forward/center, 6-3 • Watertown-Mayer
The older sister of Gophers recruit Maggie Czinano, she is averaging 18.3 ppg while shooting 66% from the field. Do not expect Czinano to shoot too much from the perimeter because she has not attempted a three-pointer on the season. Scored a career-high 34 points against Northwestern in late January.
Gabi Haack, Bradley
Senior guard, 5-10 • Elk River
The most recent high school Star Tribune Metro Player of Year not named Bueckers in 2017. The Missouri Valley first-team selection the past three years is averaging 16.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg. She shoots 47% from the field and 81% from the free-throw line.
Frannie Hottinger, Lehigh
Sophomore guard/forward, 6-0 • Cretin-Derham Hall
One of three starters and six players from Minnesota on the Mountain Hawks' roster. After a quiet freshman season coming off the bench, she paces her teammates in scoring at 14.3 ppg and rebounding at 6.7 rpg. Hottinger had a 51-point game in high school.
Liv Korngable, South Dakota
Senior guard, 5-8 • Rochester Mayo
Not many players have improved as much as Korngable in her first year as a starter for the Coyotes. She is averaging 14.7 ppg, 4.0 apg and 3.1 rpg, all of which more than doubled over a year ago. She shoots 50% from the field, 39% from beyond the arc and 77% from the charity stripe.
Kristin Scott, Iowa State
Senior forward/center, 6-3 • Kasson-Mantorville
Scott has been pretty much a model of consistency the past three seasons for coach Bill Fennelly's squad. She was named to the Lisa Leslie Award watch list, presented to the best women's basketball center, for a second consecutive year. She makes 50% of her field-goal attempts, 43% from three-point land and 85% of her free throws.
Hannah Sjerven,South Dakota
Senior center, 6-3 • Rogers
The New Mexico transfer has been named the Summit League Sixth Woman of the Year and two-time Defensive Player of the Year in her three seasons with the Coyotes. She averages nearly a double-double (17.1 ppg and 9.7 rpg) while blocking 2.3 shots per game.
Alyssa Ustby,North Carolina
Freshman guard, 6-1 • Rochester Lourdes
One the Gophers wish would not have gotten away. Ustby possesses size, length and athleticism. "Alyssa is an elite athlete, a proven winner, a selfless teammate and a versatile two-way player," Tar Heels coach Courtney Banghart said. Hidden talent: She can juggle while riding a ripstick (like a skateboard).