Sophomore guard Skylar Diggins

Diggins Named BIG EAST Player Of Week, Part Of Naismith Trophy Midseason List

Feb. 14, 2011

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame sophomore guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) received two significant honors on Monday afternoon, being named the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week in addition to earning a place on the Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30 List.

Diggins is the first Fighting Irish player in four seasons to be named the conference’s Player of the Week, with Charel Allen the last Notre Dame cager to collect the honor on Feb. 12, 2007. With the selection, Notre Dame ties Providence for the second-most weekly player awards in BIG EAST history with 69 honors (39 Players of the Week, 30 Freshmen of the Week).

Diggins also is one of 30 women’s basketball players chosen as midseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy, according to Monday’s announcement by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The Naismith Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s top player, compiled its midseason candidates based upon individual performance and team results during the 2010-11 season to date. It’s the second midseason national award candidate list that Diggins has made, following her place on the John R. Wooden Award chart last month, and like that rundown, she is one of only three sophomores to be tapped for the designation along with Baylor’s Brittney Griner and Georgetown’s Sugar Rodgers.

A two-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll selection in addition to this week’s Player of the Week citation, Diggins averaged 17.0 points, 6.0 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game last week, as Notre Dame stretched its winning streak to a season-high nine games with home victories over Seton Hall (89-38) and Rutgers (71-49). Diggins shot 52.4 percent from the floor (60 percent from three-point range) in those two contests while also recording at least five points, five rebounds and five assists.

Last Tuesday against Seton Hall, she packed the stat sheet with 14 points, seven assists, a game-high six rebounds and a season-high five steals with a near-perfect shooting night (4-4 FG, 6-7 FT). This past Saturday against Rutgers, Diggins tallied 20 points (including 3-of-5 three-pointers), five assists and five rebounds, and had a hand in 13 of Notre Dame’s points (eight points, two assists) during a 16-4 second-half run that clinched the victory.

For the season, Diggins currently ranks second on the team in scoring at 13.8 points per game, while leading the squad in assists (4.8 apg.) and adding 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game with a 1.39 assist/turnover ratio. She ranks 11th in the BIG EAST in scoring, while also placing fifth in assists, tied for 12th in steals and 13th in assist/turnover ratio. During BIG EAST play, she stands ninth in the conference in scoring (13.9 ppg.), sixth in assists (4.9 apg.), fifth in steals (2.2 spg.), seventh in free throw percentage (.806) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.44).

Diggins and her Notre Dame teammates are back in action at 2 p.m. (ET) Saturday when the No. 8 Fighting Irish (22-4, 11-1) travel to Storrs, Conn., for a matchup with second-ranked Connecticut at Gampel Pavilion. The game will be broadcast to a regional television audience as part of the BIG EAST’s syndicated Game of the Week package — it will air on a same-day delayed basis in the South Bend area at 6 p.m. (ET) on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, while and ESPN Full Court will carry the game live (check local listings for additional coverages).

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— ND —