Updated: March 14, 2015, 7:46 PM ET

Loyd is espnW national player of the year

By Michelle Smith | espnW.com

Jewell LoydAP Photo/Richard ShiroJewell Loyd scored in double figures in 32 of 33 games in 2014-15, with 676 points on the season.

In-season performance trumped preseason hype.

Notre Dame's Jewell Loyd is espnW's National Player of the Year, which might be something of a surprise considering that Connecticut's Breanna Stewart is widely regarded as the best women's college player in all the land.

But while Stewart was adjusting to a new role with the Huskies, and Connecticut once again rolled through the American Conference without much resistance, Loyd has propelled Notre Dame to another stellar season.

The junior shooting guard came up big in the biggest games, and led the Irish to another ACC title in one of the most competitive conferences in the country.
Read espnW's end-of-year awards

Michelle Smith

Contributor, espnW.com
Michelle Smith has covered pro and college sports for AOL Fanhouse, the San Francisco Chronicle and espnW.

Kaleena-Mosqueda Lewis makes the cut

By Charlie Creme | espnW.com

UConn/TulsaDavid Butler II/USA TODAY SportsOf Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis' 178 made field goals this season, 104 were 3-pointers.

No surprise here. Each of our Three to See were included on espnW's 2015 All-America teams.

Connecticut senior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was a second-team honoree.

"No one has made more 3-pointers in UConn history, and no one has been more accurate from deep (51 percent) this season than Mosqueda-Lewis, who is averaging 15.1 points and 4.3 rebounds," wrote Charlie Creme. "Her all-around game has grown, but it's her shooting that makes Mosqueda-Lewis stand out. She is a weapon that no one else has."
Check out espnW's first- and second-team All-Americans

Charlie Creme projects the women's NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN.com.

Who should be player of the year?

Jewell Loyd, Breanna StewartAP ImagesJewell Loyd and the Irish are 31-2, while Breanna Stewart and the Huskies are 32-1.

The best player in women's college basketball is … not what we're talking about here.

Eddie Redmayne recently won an Oscar as best actor. It doesn't mean voters consider him a better actor than his fellow nominees. What the vote concluded was that Redmayne's turn in "The Theory of Everything" was, in the eyes of voters, the best performance.

If the college basketball season to this point was one extended drama, espnW columnist Graham Hays says Jewell Loyd gave its outstanding performance. She had the most difficult role to play. She delivered the most powerful lines.

But … while Loyd is a spectacular player, UConn's Breanna Stewart should be player of the year because she's an incomparable player at the college level, writes espnW columnist Mechelle Voepel.

The closest comparison to Stewart in the WNBA is probably Elena Delle Donne. Like 6-foot-5 Delle Donne, 6-4 Stewart can handle the basketball, shoot from anywhere, pass with precision, run the floor, post up, rebound, protect the rim and be a team defensive anchor.
Read the complete W Debate and then cast your vote

Graham Hays covers college sports for espnW, including softball and soccer. Hays began with ESPN in 1999.
Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women's college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women's basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

From All-American moves to studying movies

By Mechelle Voepel | espnW.com

Jewell LoydMatt Cashore/USA TODAY SportsAfter a trio of legendary Mafia films, Jewell Loyd also likes SpongeBob -- and fondly recalls watching the cartoon about an aardvark named "Arthur" with her brother, Jarryd.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- In our best Marlon Brando voice, we're going to make you an offer you can't refuse. Settle into your seats, indulge in some popcorn ... and read about the Jewell Loyd movie marathon experience. Hope you don't mind if the line between film hero and villain is sometimes a little ambiguous.

"'The Godfather' is kinda our family movie," Loyd, the Notre Dame junior guard, said of her parents, older brother and herself. "I like the concept of family, loyalty and getting the job done."

Then Loyd laughed and added, "Obviously, we're not going to be beating anyone up or anything."

Loyd took part in a bit of "reel talk" recently at espnW's request, as she's a film, television and theater major at Notre Dame.
Read the complete story

Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women's college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women's basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.


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