Three Western Kentucky players picked up individual honors Tuesday from the Conference USA office: Ivy Brown was named cefensive player of the year, Raneem Elgedawy was named freshman of the year and Dee Givens brought home the sixth player of the year award.
Brown emerged as a nightly double-double threat in 2017-18 with a CUSA-best 15. Brown is one of only seven players in WKU history with 15 or more points-rebounds double-doubles in a single season and her 33 career double-doubles rank sixth in program history. The 2014 Miss Kentucky Basketball leads all CUSA players with 9.8 rebounds per game this season and ranks second in the conference with 2.5 steals and 1.6 blocks per outing.
Brown has also established herself as one of the top 3-point shooters in the conference, ranking fifth in the league by knocking down 42.1 percent (56 of 133) of her shots from beyond the arc. Brown book-ended her regular season with career-best 31-point games at Iowa (Nov. 11) and texas El Paso (March 3) en route to picking up her second straight First Team honors.
Elgedawy has enjoyed one of the strongest freshman campaigns for WKU in recent memory. She has started all 29 games for WKU and is averaging 8.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game with five double-doubles, the most in a single season by a WKU freshman since Crystal Kelly in 2004-05.
The only freshman ranked in the top 15 in CUSA in rebounding this season, Elgedawy also leads all freshmen in the league with her 48.1 percent shooting mark from the field and ranks second with 1.2 blocks per game. In one of the top performances by any WKU player this season, Elgedawy hauled down 23 rebounds against FIU on Jan. 11 – those 23 boards were the most by a freshman and third-most overall in a single game in school history while also matching the CUSA record for the most rebounds by a single player in a league contest.
Elgedawy is WKU’s first freshman of the tear honoree by a conference office since Kendall Noble claimed the honor from the Sun Belt during the 2013-14 campaign as a redshirt-freshman.
Givens settled into her role as WKU’s spark off the bench being the first player off the bench in 10 of WKU’s contests. The redshirt-sophomore helped to key the Lady Toppers’ upset of then-No. 16 Missouri in the season opener with a career-best 20 points and added 16 more in the near-upset of Iowa on its home floor Nov. 11.
Givens took her play to a new level in CUSA action averaging 10.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. The Lexington native collected her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds against Florida International on Jan. 11 and reached double figures in scoring in nine of WKU’s 16 conference outings, including a streak of seven straight games from Jan. 6 through Jan. 28.