Following a season in which the Huskers saw a massive turnaround and a 13-game improvement over last season's 7-22 regular season, there was plenty of recognition to go around in Lincoln.
It started with head coach Amy Williams being named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, the conference announced Monday.
In her second season, Williams has the Huskers at 20-9 with an 11-5 finish in conference play and a three-seed in the Big Ten Tournament next week. The improvement in the win column over last season alone was the best in the nation and Williams had the Huskers — who finished tied for last in the conference last year — in a position to possibly earn a share of the regular-season Big Ten title on Sunday.
Williams is also one of 10 finalists for the Werner Ladder Naismith National Coach of the Year award, announced last week.
Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish was named Second Team All-Big Ten by both the league's coaches and media.
Whitish, the only Husker to start all 29 games this season, led the Huskers in scoring (12.7 points per), assists (5.0) and steals (1.3) while also leading the team and ranking among the Big Ten's best 3-point shooters (39.3 percent).
Following back-to-back career-high 29-point performances in road wins over Kansas (Dec. 6) and Drake (Dec. 9), Whitish received Big Ten Player of the Week honors.
And then there was the freshman.
Center Kate Cain, a 6-foot-5 freshman center from Middletown, New York, was named to the Big Ten's All-Freshman team as well as the All-Defensive team.
Cain led the Big Ten in blocks with 3.1 blocks per game and set a Nebraska single-season record with 91 blocked shots. She served as a lynchpin defensively and helped the Huskers lead the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense as well as 3-point field goal percentage defense.
In addition to the blocks record, Cain also notched the first point-rebound-block triple-double in Husker history with a 22-point, 14-rebound, 11-block (also a school record) performance in a win over Florida Atlantic on Dec. 19.
Cain is the first Husker since 2014 to earn a spot on the All-Defensive team and the fourth in the last seven seasons to earn the All-Freshman nod.
The Huskers will open their Big Ten tournament run on Friday when they face either Michigan, Penn State or Illinois.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.