Oklahoma State's Loryn Goodwin named espnW player of the week

Loryn Goodwin, a graduate student who will play one season at Oklahoma State, scored 27 points in the Cowgirls' upset of No. 7 UCLA. Courtesy OSU Athletics

Editor's note: Charlie Creme, Graham Hays and Mechelle Voepel each vote to determine espnW's national player of the week, which is awarded every week of the women's college basketball season.

Guard Loryn Goodwin will be playing for Oklahoma State for just one season. But what a season that is shaping up to be.

The 5-foot-9 senior is the espnW player of the week after leading the Cowgirls to an 87-72 upset of No. 7 UCLA on Friday. She had 27 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

For the season, she is averaging 21.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 4.3 steals.

In Oklahoma State's two previous games this season against ranked foes, Goodwin came up big, too. In a 79-69 loss to Tennessee in Cancun, Mexico, on Nov. 24, she had 29 points and five assists. In a 79-76 loss at Mississippi State on Dec. 3, she had 35 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and four steals.

"Playing in those close games -- learning and getting better -- really helped a lot," Goodwin said. "We all knew we could [beat a ranked team], but to prove it to everybody else feels amazing."

Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell, asked about Goodwin's high level of play, said, "She's a competitor. In practice, in the weight room. She wants to win every sprint -- and she does. She's just got that 'it' factor."

Yet if you're a women's basketball fan who's saying, "Why don't I know her? She's a senior? Where did she come from?" there's an explanation.

Oklahoma State is the fourth college that Goodwin has played for, but that's not because she's restless. Instead, to a large degree she has been a victim of circumstance.

She was not heavily recruited out of Cypress Falls High in Texas, but Karen Aston, who was then at North Texas, was interested. Goodwin signed there, but by the time she started the 2012-13 season, Aston had left for Texas.

Goodwin played that season for North Texas, then decided she wanted to go elsewhere. She picked Butler in Indianapolis, and sat out the 2013-14 season. But then Butler coach Beth Couture was fired in May 2014. So for the second time, Goodwin wasn't going to get to play for the coach she had chosen.

Still, she spent a year (2014-15) competing for the Bulldogs before deciding she'd prefer to play closer to family and friends back home in Texas. So she transferred to UT San Antonio, sat out 2015-16, and then was Conference USA's newcomer of the year last season.

As a graduate student, Goodwin still had a year of eligibility left. But at this point, she said, she was looking for the best place to continue her education; she's getting a master's degree in entrepreneurship. That's when she chose Oklahoma State.

"I was looking for a good academic program," Goodwin said, then adding with gratitude about the basketball program, "This is beyond any expectation I ever had."

Last year, Oklahoma State center Kaylee Jensen led the Big 12 in scoring (18.7 PPG) and rebounding (10.5). This season, her numbers are down a bit -- 13.9 PPG, 9.3 RPG -- but she's happy to have another high-quality threat on the team.

So is Littell. He said some WNBA scouts were in attendance Friday, and they got to watch not only UCLA's Jordin Canada (who had 28 points and seven assists) but Goodwin, too.

"I think they saw two premiere point guards tonight," Littell said.

The Cowgirls (7-2) have two more nonconference games before they start Big 12 season in late December.

"There's more to come," Goodwin said. "So I'm excited for the future."

Also nominated: Kristine Anigwe, Cal; Jessica Lindstrom, Green Bay; Jaime Nared, Tennessee; Gabbi Ortiz, Oklahoma

Previous winners: Louisville's Durr (Nov. 20) | Ohio State's Mitchell (Nov. 27) | Florida State's Thomas (Dec. 4)