UNC Women's basketball duo named to National Player of the Year Watchlist

The senior duo has been instrumental in the UNC women's basketball program's success, as they are both up for potential National Player of the Year recognition.

North Carolina's Deja Kelly (25) drives to the basket against N.C. State's Madison Hayes (21) during
North Carolina's Deja Kelly (25) drives to the basket against N.C. State's Madison Hayes (21) during / Steven Worthy / USA TODAY NETWORK
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On Tuesday, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) announced the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award and All-America Watch Lists. Forty of the top women's basketball players made the cut, as the UNC women's basketball program is fortunate to have two of them on its roster.

Deja Kelly and Alyssa Ustby are among eight Atlantic Coast Conference players to make this list, as the ACC tied the PAC-12 for the most selections. Additionally, the Tar Heels are just one of 11 programs with multiple players that made the cut.

Kelly has been a workhorse for the UNC women's basketball program, averaging 17 points per contest. She's been even better in ACC play, as her scoring average sits at 18.3 points per night against conference foes. Her playmaking ability has been well on display, as she's proving on a nightly basis that she is a well-rounded basketball player.

When you think about college basketball players that do it all, Alyssa Ustby has to be in that conversation. She is one of only four players to be averaging a double-double in ACC play, and recent put together the first triple-double in UNC women's basketball program history.

How the awards work is simple: all 40 players are part of the pool for selection of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as National Player of the Year and All-America consideration. The awards are based on regular-season performance.

The All-America squad will be announced prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament, while the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award recipient will be announced at the NCAA Women's Final Four in Cleveland, Ohio.

Kelly and Ustby are very deserving of this recognition, as both players have been instrumental in the UNC women's basketball program's success over their careers so far in Chapel Hill. North Carolina hopes that this dynamic duo has much more in store before their collegiate careers come to a close.

Click here to view the entire list of student-athletes who join Deja Kelly and Alyssa Ustby on the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award and All-America Watch Lists.

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