Odyssey Sims on pace to give the Lady Bears three straight national players of the year
A Baylor Lady Bear has been the unanimous women’s basketball player of the year each of the last two years. But even with Brittney Griner’s departure for the WNBA, it appears Kim Mulkey’s squad is on pace to claim the honor yet again.
Senior point guard Odyssey Sims has stepped out of Griner’s shadow and fully into her own this year. During her first three years at Baylor, Sims’ first responsibility was to distribute the ball, and her success in that role has made her the Lady Bears’ all-time leader in assists. Now the team’s primary offensive threat as a senior, Sims has changed her game and is leading the nation in scoring at 31.8 points per game.
The preseason All-American has already been named national player of the week twice this year (and Big 12 player of the week three times), and is a favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft this spring. What can’t she do? Even while leading the country in scoring, Sims also ranks among the top six in the league in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio. She is No. 2 in the Big 12 in 3-pointers per game and 3-point shooting, No. 4 in steals per game, No. 5 in shooting percentage and No. 7 in free-throw percentage. And she’s done all this while taking on a leadership role for a young Baylor team that only has three other upperclassmen on the roster.
The nation will get a good look at Sims and the No. 7-ranked Lady Bears tonight, as they host No. 1 UConn (6 p.m. CT, ESPN2). Baylor enters the game having won 69 straight games at home, the third longest streak in NCAA women’s basketball history. Can they make it an even 70? The Lady Bears have won two in a row against the Huskies; make plans to be in the Ferrell Center tonight (or to watch on TV) to see if they can extend both streaks.
Sic ’em, Odyssey and Lady Bears!