Welch Named to Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Welch Named to Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List


South Carolina junior forward Aleighsa Welch (Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek HS) has been named to the Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List as one of the top 50 players in the nation. She is one of eight SEC players named to the list and one of just 18 non-seniors to be recognized. 

"It's great for Aleighsa so get this recognition, which is as much about our team's success as it is her individual play," South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. "She has been a good example for our young team in terms of consistent effort and of sacrifice for the betterment of the team. In our last win, we didn't need as much offense from her, but she was as happy as anyone on the bus with how we won that game." 

Welch was a Preseason All-SEC First Team selection this season after capturing second-team honors as a sophomore. She is the only one of the SEC tops five rebounders to also rank among the conference's top 10 scorers with her 13.2 ppg (16th) and 9.5 rpg (5th). She has led or tied for the team lead in rebounding in five of six games this season and has led the scoring output twice. Welch has posted three double-doubles already this season and has scored in double figures in all but one game. She is already among the program's top offensive rebounders, ranking sixth in school history with 258 in her career. 

South Carolina, which moved up to No. 17 in the AP poll this week, is in action tonight at Southern Cal at 8 p.m. (ET). The Gamecocks return to Colonial Life Arena on Mon., Dec. 2, to face NC Central at 7 p.m.


Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List

Natalie Achonwa, Sr., Notre Dame

Rachel Banham, Jr., Minnesota

Tiffany Blas, Sr., Oklahoma State

Brittany Boyd, Jr., California

Gennifer Brandon, R-Sr., California

Kirby Burkholder, Sr., James Madison

Asya Bussie, Sr., West Virginia

Hallie Christofferson, Sr., Iowa State

Jerica Coley, Sr., Florida International

Kaela Davis, Fr., Georgia Tech

Jazmine Davis, Jr., Washington

Diamond DeShields, Fr. North Carolina

Stefanie Dolson, Sr., Connecticut

Aaryn Ellenberg, Sr., Oklahoma

Christina Foggie, Sr., Vanderbilt

Chassidy Fussell, Sr., Texas

Bashaara Graves, So., Tennessee

Chelsea Gray, Sr., Duke

Cassie Harberts, Sr., Southern Cal

Bria Hartley, Sr., Connecticut

Jordan Hooper, Sr., Nebraska

Andrea Hoover, Jr., Dayton

Natasha Howard, Sr., Florida State

Brittany Hrynko, Jr., DePaul

Betnijah Laney, Jr., Rutgers

Tricia Liston, Sr., Duke

Jewell Loyd, So., Notre Dame

Maggie Lucas, Sr., Penn State

Tyaunna Marshall, Sr., Georgia Tech

Ariel Massengale, Jr., Tennessee

Kayla McBride, Sr., Notre Dame

Xylina McDaniel, So., North Carolina

Laurin Mincy, R-Jr., Maryland C

ourtney Moses, Sr., Purdue

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Jr., Connecticut

Jasmine Newsome, Sr., UT-Martin

Chiney Ogwumike, Sr., Stanford

Haley Peters, Sr., Duke

Theresa Plaisance, Sr., LSU

Michelle Plouffe, Sr., Utah

Ebony Rowe, Sr., Middle Tennessee

Schoni Schimmel, Sr., Louisville

Meighan Simmons, Sr., Tennessee

Odysseey Sims, Sr., Baylor

DeNesha Stallworth, Sr., Kentucky

Breanna Stewart, So., Connecticut

Alyssa Thomas, Sr.,Maryland

Courtney Walker, So., Texas A&M

Aleighsa Welch, Jr., South Carolina

Elizabeth Williams, Jr., Duke

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