Blocks, Steals Leaders Griner and McCoughtry Headline All-Defensive Team
NEW YORK, Aug. 22, 2014 Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, the 2014 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Samsung, and WNBA steals leader Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream headline the 2014 WNBA All-Defensive Team, the league announced today. Griner, who collected 11 First Team votes (55 points), makes her first appearance on the All-Defensive Team, while McCoughtry (30 points) earns her fourth First Team selection.
Joining Griner and McCoughtry on the WNBA All-Defensive First Team are forward Sancho Lyttle of the Dream (45 points), guard Briann January of the Indiana Fever (34 points), and guard Tanisha Wright of the Seattle Storm (30 points).
Griner recorded a league-record 129 blocks, surpassing the previous single-season mark of 114, set by Margo Dydek in 1998. She led the league in blocks per game (3.79 bpg), ranked eighth in defensive rebounds (6.1 drpg) and ninth in total rebounds (8.0 rpg). McCoughtry led the league in steals (2.39 spg) and ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference in rebounding (3.5 rpg).
Wright received her fifth career First Team honor, while Lyttle ranked fifth in the WNBA in rebounding (9.0 rpg) to earn her second First Team nod. January is making her second career appearance on the First Team after averaging 1.23 spg this season.
The WNBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of guard Alana Beard of the Los Angeles Sparks (29 points), forward Tamika Catchings of the Fever (29 points), guard Danielle Robinson of the San Antonio Stars (27 points), forward Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx (17 points) and center Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky (17 points).
Catchings, the five-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, picks up her first career Second Team nod after earning nine WNBA All-Defensive First Team selections. Fowles, who has captured four WNBA All-Defensive First Team awards, earns a Second Team honor for the second time in her career. Beard makes her fourth career appearance on the Second Team, Robinson earned the third of her career, and Moore, the 2014 MVP, is a first-time member of the All-Defensive squad.
A panel of the WNBAs 12 head coaches voted on the WNBA All-Defensive Team, selecting First and Second Teams by position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own teams. Players earned two points for each First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.