CU WBB: Leonard Selected to Lieberman Watch List

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—University of Colorado senior Kennedy Leonard was one of 20 Division I point guards announced to the 2019 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Coaches Association on Monday.

This marks the second straight season Leonard has been selected to the watch list, having received the recognition as a sophomore as well.

"What an incredible honor for Kennedy and it is so well deserved," head coach JR Payne said. "Kennedy is extremely dedicated to her craft and loves the game of basketball. She pours her heart and soul into this game and it is a wonderful accomplishment to be considered for such a prestigious award. We are all extremely proud of her."

The award, now in its twentieth year, recognizes the top point guard in women's NCAA DI college basketball. To be considered to this prestigious award, candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of 1996 Hall of Famer inductee Nancy Lieberman.

Leonard, a native of Southlake, Texas, enters her final season second in CU history with 529 assists. She has averaged a program record 5.6 assists per game in her three seasons. Her 14.7 points per game are currently sixth in school history.

The soon-to-be four-year starter is a two-time first team All-Pac-12 selection. Leonard started all 31 games as a junior last season. She broke CU's single-season record with 200 assists, besting the previous mark she had set as a sophomore. Leonard scored in double figures 25 times last season and finished with three double-doubles. She ranked third in the Pac-12 in assists, fourth in steals and free throws made and attempted, eighth in free throw percentage and minutes played, 11th in scoring and 12th in assist/turnover ratio (1.77).

Leonard became the 30th Colorado player to join the 1,000-point club last season. She did so in just 69 career games, tying for the fifth-fastest to hit the mark as a Buffalo. She enters the 2018-19 season 14th on CU's scoring list with 1,383 career points.

Colorado will hold its lone exhibition of the season on Oct. 29, against Southern Nazarene at the CU Events Center. The Buffs officially open the season at home on Nov. 6 against Northern Colorado.