There has never been a doubt in the minds of Golden Gopher women's basketball fans that junior guard Rachel Banham is one of the best point guards in the country, and now the nation is taking notice as well. In a list of its top-five women's basketball players at each position, espnW recognized the Lakeville, Minn., native as one of the five-best point guards in the NCAA as selected by Charlie Creme, Kate Fagan, Graham Hays, Michelle Smith and Mechelle Voepel.
Banham was joined on the list by Baylor's Odyssey Sims, Oklahoma State's Tiffany Bias, Duke's Chelsea Gray and UConn's Bria Hartley, while fellow Big Ten standouts Maggie Lucas (Penn State) and Jordan Hooper (Nebraska) were listed among the top shooting guards and a small forwards, respectively.
The recognition is definitely fitting for the guard, as Banham was a WBCA Honorable Mention All-American and First Team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore after averaging 20.7 points and 3.9 assists per game. Her points-per-game average ranked 14th overall nationally, while she was the second-leading sophomore scorer in the NCAA. Banham recorded 16 20-plus point performances and five 30-plus point games last season, which included three 30-point outing over a four-game stretch of Big Ten contests from Jan. 28 to Feb. 7.
Banham enters her third season at Minnesota with 1,243 career points, which ranks 14th on the Gophers' all-time scoring list and is 151 points ahead of the total all-time leading scorer Lindsay Whalen scored during her first two seasons.