WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Senior Ae'Rianna Harris was named to the 2020 Lisa Leslie Award preseason watch list by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the WBCA on Friday. The 2019 Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Finalist was picked as one of the 20 best centers in the nation.
It marked the second straight year Harris was named to the Leslie Award preseason watch list.
"Ae'Rianna has continued to improve every year at Purdue," head coach Sharon Versyp said. "Throughout her career, she has worked to be one of the best players in the nation, and this honor recognizes her drive. She has developed into a phenomenal leader and role model to our younger players. Her play this season will continue to cement her place as one of the all-time greats at Purdue."
Harris' junior season featured multiple career milestones. The Indianapolis native became the all-time blocks leader, surpassing Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton's mark of 281. She was the 34th player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark and the 17th to do it as a junior.
Harris was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, joining a club of three others who earned the distinction in back-to-back campaigns. She averaged 13.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and three blocks per game as a junior.
Harris, a Preseason All-Big Ten selection, and the Boilermakers will play an exhibition at home Nov. 3 against Southern Indiana, before the season opener against Milwaukee at Mackey Arena on Nov. 10.
The Selection Committee for the Lisa Leslie Award is composed of top women's college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers.
New to the award this season is Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Leslie and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. Voting is open at this link.
2020 Lisa Leslie Award Candidates*
Bayley Plummer, Appalachian State
Queen Egbo, Baylor
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Connecticut
Jade Williams, Duke
Kristin Scott, Iowa State
Kayla Cooper-Williams, James Madison
Shakira Austin, Maryland
Beatrice Mompremier, Miami
Elissa Cunane, NC State
Kate Cain, Nebraska
Janelle Bailey, North Carolina
Eleah Parker, Penn
Ae'Rianna Harris, Purdue
Nancy Mulkey, Rice
Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
Maya Dodson, Stanford
Charli Collier, Texas
Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M
Brittany Brewer, Texas Tech
Mariella Fasoula, Vanderbilt
*Players can play their way onto and off the list at any point in the 2019-20 season