Photo: Mississippi State Guard Myah Taylor (#1) during the game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville. (Photo credit: Austin Perryman)
Considered one of the top point guards in the country, Mississippi State redshirt junior Myah Taylor was named a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award on Monday, Feb. 1, as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
The Olive Branch native is one of 10 candidates for the award, and she joins Arkansas’ Destiny Slocum as the only SEC players on the list. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list. To be considered for the prestigious award, candidates must exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Class of 1996 Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
After being challenged to be more of a scorer by head coach Nikki McCray-Penson, Taylor has improved her scoring this season, finishing in double figures six times this year after only posting six such games in the previous two seasons combined. She ranks fourth on the team with 8.5 points per game. She’s also been an impressive shooter, connecting on 47 percent of her field goals and 41 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc.
While her assists per game are slightly down as a result of her uptick in scoring, Taylor continues to find her teammates for an open shot with six performances with five or more assists. She had a season-high nine assists in State’s win against Troy, when the Bulldogs knocked down a program-record 18 3-pointers.
Between her scoring and assists, Taylor has been a major factor in State’s offense this season. In fact, she has accounted for more than 25 percent of MSU’s total scoring in six contests, including when she was responsible for 50 percent (30 of 60) of State’s points against Ole Miss.
Taylor ranks 24th in the country and second in the SEC with a 2.80 assist/turnover ratio. Last year, she ranked eighth nationally and led the league with a 2.80 ratio. Defensively, she leads the Bulldogs in steals (22) and boasts four blocks. She has recorded multiple steals in seven games.
College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In early March, five players will be presented to Ms. Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
The winner of the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Award will be presented April 9, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award and the Lisa Leslie Center Award.
2021 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award Candidates
- Destiny Slocum Arkansas
- DiDi Richards Baylor
- Dyaisha Fair Buffalo
- Paige Bueckers Connecticut
- Ali Patberg Indiana
- Hailey Van Lith Louisville
- Myah Taylor Mississippi State
- Raina Perez NC State
- Diamond Johnson Rutgers
- Tiana Mangakahia Syracuse
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2020-21 season
Mississippi State women’s basketball sports information release