Women’s basketball’s Jade Edwards honored with First Team and All-Defensive selections
Edwards becomes the first player to earn a First Team spot since 2018-19
After a season in which she led the Eagles to a 6-3 record, junior women’s basketball guard Jade Edwards was honored Wednesday, bringing home her first First Team All-Patriot League and Patriot League All-Defensive Team awards. Though she entered into the Player of the Year conversation, the nod ultimately went to Lafayette senior forward Natalie Kucowski, who also won Defensive Player of the Year.
With the regular season now wrapped, Edwards holds sole possession of the Patriot League scoring title, as her 18.8 points per game topped the conference. Challenged to become a more multi-dimensional player this season, Edwards finished with top-five marks in rebounds, field goal percentage and steals per game. Her play helped AU win the South Division and was enough to grab the third seed in the Patriot League Tournament.
“She did some plays that other kids can’t do, and for us, that’s obviously huge,” head coach Megan Gebbia said after AU’s last home victory. “She’s learning how to help us when she’s not scoring, and that’s a growth thing for Jade.”
While she came into the year as an established three-level scorer, her interior output reached another level in 2021. Edwards’ body control is second-to-none in the Patriot League, and she’s able to use that skill to make difficult buckets look easy inside. Many of her body-contorting shots would be highlight-reel moments for the rest of the league, but they’re commonplace for the AU guard.
“I can honestly say in all the years I've coached I've never coached an athlete like this,” Gebbia said in January. “Never. Not one time, in all the championships, here, Marist, wherever I was. This is rare. And so what Jade brings is just the highest ceiling I've ever coached.”
In the five AU games tracked by CBB Analytics, Edwards made 16 of her 20 shots at the rim, 21.5 percent above the Division I average. Her strength and control inside also helped her draw a conference-best 5.7 free throw attempts per game.
“She hasn't come close to hitting the top yet, and we keep talking to her about ‘You want to play at the next level,’ meaning pro,” Gebbia said in January. “Whether that's overseas, or, if she ever has a chance to play in the WNBA, knock on wood, I would love to see that — she has the athleticism to do that.”
Before the season, Edwards was selected to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team after earning a Second Team nod in 2019-20. This is the program’s first First Team selection since Cecily Carl’s Player of the Year season in 2018-19. Edwards’ All-Defensive award comes a year after senior guard Indeya Sanders earned a spot on the team.
Holy Cross freshman Bronagh Power-Cassidy took home the Patriot League Rookie of the Year award, while Bucknell head coach Trevor Woodruff won his second consecutive Coach of the Year award after leading the Bison to an 8-0 record.
Third-seeded AU women’s basketball (6-3, 6-3) takes on sixth-seeded Army (6-8, 9-10) Sunday. While AU was initially slated to play Holy Cross, a positive COVID-19 test within Navy’s Tier 1 shuffled the bracket around. Army junior guard Alisa Fallon picked up a Third Team selection, while freshman guard Lauren Lithgow earned a spot on the Patriot League All-Rookie Team.