UConn women’s basketball team Nika Mühl named Big East Defensive Player of the Year

UConn women's basketball team Nika Mühl named Big East Defensive Player of the Year

Nika Mühl, a sophomore in UConn women’s basketball, has been named the 2022 Big East Defensive Player of the Year, the conference announced Thursday.

Although it was Mühl’s first career conference honor, this year’s Big East Awards marked the first time since 2013 that a UConn player has not won the conference player honor. the year covering the Big East or the American Athletic Conference. It was also the first time since 2018 that Geno Auriemma was not named Conference Coach of the Year.

Seniors Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Christyn Williams were named to the All-Big East First Team while Caroline Ducharme and Azzi Fudd were named to the Big East All-Freshman Team. Ducharme was also named to the All-Big East second team.

Mühl becomes the 11th Husky to win conference defensive player of the year honors and the second in a row from UConn after Nelson-Ododa won the award last season. Mühl ranks third in the conference with 2.2 interceptions per conference game.

The team’s first nod was the third of his career for Williams and the first for Nelson-Ododa. Williams leads UConn with 14.9 points per game and has scored in double figures in all but one of the Huskies’ Big East games this season. Meanwhile, Nelson-Ododa leads the league with 1.9 blocks per game and is ranked second with a 61.1 field goal percentage.

A Husky has won Player of the Year the past eight seasons (including time in the AAC and Big East) and 12 of the past 14 years. Last season, Paige Bueckers won the Big East Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards.

The last time a UConn player didn’t win the award was in 2013, when Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins was the Big East Player of the Year.

Villanova junior forward Maddy Siegrist (22.8 points, 9.8 rebounds) was named player of the year. DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow (21.5 points, 14.0 rebounds) won the freshman of the year.

The Coach of the Year is Villanova, Denise Dillon, whose team is 21-7 and handed UConn its first conference loss since 2013.