🏀 Taiyanna Jackson Named to Naismith Player of the Year Watch List

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas super-senior center Taiyanna Jackson is one of 50 players named to 2023-24 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Women’s Player of the Year Watch List, which was announced Friday.

This is the second preseason watch list for Jackson, who was previously named one of 20 candidates for the Lisa Leslie Award, which recognizes the top center in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. She was also named a unanimous Preseason All-Big 12 selection heading into the season. Jackson becomes the first Jayhawk named to the Naismith Award Watch List since 2014, when Chelsea Gardner earned a preseason selection for the award.

Jackson returns for her third season at Kansas following a record-setting campaign in 2022-23. She was a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection after becoming the first Kansas player since 1981-82 to average a double-double, totaling 15.2 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. Jackson became the first Jayhawk since 2014 to be receive All-America Honorable Mention recognition from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and was named the MVP of the WNIT after leading the Jayhawks to the tournament championship.

From East Chicago, Indiana, Jackson finished the season with 23 double-doubles, the third-most in KU history, and ranked second in school history with 66.1 percent field goal percentage, which ranked fourth nationally.  She scored in double figures 30 times in 36 games, with six games of 20-plus points, and ranked third in NCAA Division I in rebounds per game. Jackson continued to establish herself as a premier post presence defensively, setting KU’s single-season school record with 109 blocked shots, surpassing her previous record of 95 from the 2021-22 season. She was a two-time Big 12 Player of the Week last season and led the league in rebounds, blocked shots, field goal percentage and double-doubles.

Kansas opens the 2023-24 season on Wednesday, Nov. 8, against Northwestern State at 6:30 p.m. CT in the first of five non-conference home games at Allen Fieldhouse. Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are now on sale for as low as $90, and season tickets are now on sale with prices ranging from $8-$15. Fans can reserve their seat by visiting KUAthletics.com or calling 800-34-HAWKS.

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