LOS ANGELES (Jan. 13, 2010) – The top 21 candidates for the Women’s John R. Wooden Award, the nation’s most coveted college basketball honor, were named today by The Los Angeles Athletic Club’s John R. Wooden Award Committee. Because of a tie in the voting, 21 players were named rather than the traditional 20. Composed of the players who will compete for this season’s player of the year award, the midseason list is based on individual excellence and team record during the first half of the season.
“The depth and breadth of talent in the women’s game is really apparent,” said Women’s John R. Wooden Award Chairman Richard “Duke” Llewellyn. “Many, many players received votes this year, and I am sure we will see players on the ballot who are not even on this midseason list, as they will step up as we get into conference play.”
Just as players who are not on the preseason list are eligible for the Midseason Top 20, players who do not make the Midseason list are still eligible for the national ballot, which will be selected in March and will consist of approximately 20 players, chosen by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board Committee. Players selected to the national ballot will have to be certified by their university as making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Among the Midseason Top 20 candidates are returning Wooden Award winner Maya Moore of No. 1-ranked Connecticut (19.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and her teammate, center Tina Charles (17.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg). No. 2 Stanford also had two players selected, center Jayne Appel and forward Kayla Pedersen. Four 2009 National Ballot honorees were named as 2009-10 midseason candidates: Appel, Alysha Clark (Middle Tennessee), Jantel Lavender (Ohio State), and Monica Wright (Virginia).
Other intriguing candidates who were not chosen to the preseason list include James Madison’s Dawn Evans, the nation’s leading scorer at 26.4 points per game; Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot, who averages 9.6 assists per game, tops in the country; Baylor’s 6-8 freshman Brittney Griner; and Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne, who made headlines last year when she gave up her basketball career at Connecticut to play volleyball closer to home. In her first collegiate hoops season, she is ranked No. 4 in the country in scoring (24.7), and is averaging 9.6 rebounds as well.
2009-10 Wooden Award Top 20 List
The Big East leads the Midseason Top 20 with 4 players selected. The CAA and ACC each had three players selected, and the Pac-10, Big 10, SEC and Big 12 had two players each. The Sun Belt, Atlantic 10 and West Coast Conferences had one player chosen. Overall, 48 different players from 36 schools received votes.
More than 300 voters, comprised of sports media members and college basketball experts from across the nation, will then cast their votes to determine both the five-member All American Team and Player of the Year. In late March, the 10-player Wooden Award All American Team will be announced.
MIDSEASON TOP 20
|Ashley Barlow||5-9||Sr.||G||Notre Dame||Big East|
|Tina Charles||6-4||Sr.||C||Connecticut||Big East|
|Alysha Clark||5-10||Sr.||F||Middle Tennessee||Sun Belt|
|Cetera DeGraffenreid||5-6||Jr.||G||North Carolina||ACC|
|Allyssa DeHaan||6-9||Sr.||C||Michigan State||Big Ten|
|Elena Delle Donne||6-5||Fr.||G/F||Delaware||CAA|
|Dawn Evans||5-7||Jr.||G||James Madison||CAA|
|Kelsey Griffin||6-2||Sr.||F||Nebraska||Big 12|
|Brittney Griner||6-8||Fr.||C||Baylor||Big 12|
|Amber Harris||6-5||Jr.||F||Xavier||Atlantic 10|
|Allison Hightower||5-10||Sr.||G||Louisiana State||SEC|
|Jantel Lavender||6-4||Jr.||C||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Maya Moore $%||6-0||Jr.||F||Connecticut||Big East|
|Brittany Ray||5-9||Sr.||G||Rutgers||Big East|
$ 2009 Wooden Award winner
% 2008 Wooden All-American