WOMEN’S PRESEASON TOP 30 LIST ANNOUNCED BY JOHN R. WOODEN AWARD

Three All Americans return, including 2012 Wooden Award winner Brittney Griner

Los Angeles (November 9, 2012)— The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its John R. Wooden Award Women’s Preseason Top 30 today, which is comprised of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. The list is chosen by a preseason poll of national college women’s basketball media members.

2012 Wooden Award winner Brittney Griner led Baylor to last year’s NCAA title, averaging 23.2 points and 9.5 rebounds. She was ranked No. 1 nationally in blocks (5.2), No. 2 in field goal percentage (.611) and No. 6 in scoring. She is the first player in NCAA history to score 2,000 points and record 500 blocked shots, and is the NCAA’s No. 2 all-time shot blocker heading into her senior season. Griner was also named to the Wooden Award All American team as a sophomore.

Listed as a 6-5 guard/forward, Elena Delle Donne led the nation in scoring in 2011-12 at 28.1 points per game. She took her Blue Hen team to a top 25 national ranking and the NCAA tournament in 2012, and is her school’s first All American. She was the 2012 CAA Player of the Year and a CoSIDA Academic All American as well.

Skylar Diggins was widely recognized as the country’s top point guard as a junior, taking Notre Dame to the NCAA title game by averaging 16.8 points and 5.7 assists in 2012. The 2012 Big East Player of the Year and Wooden Award All American, Diggins was just the fourth NCAA Division I player in the past decade to register 600 points, 200 assists and 100 steals in a single season.

Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the Preseason Top 30. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for January’s midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March. The National Ballot consists of 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.  The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top five players, will be announced the week of the Final Four.

Griner is joined on the preseason Wooden Award Top 30 by her Baylor teammate, point guard Odyssey Sims. Other schools with multiple players chosen include Connecticut with three (Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley); and five more schools with two: Duke (Elizabeth Williams, Chelsea Gray); Kansas (Angel Goodrich, Carolyn Davis); Maryland (Laurin Mincy, Alyssa Thomas); Nebraska (Jordan Hooper, Lindsay Moore); and Penn State (Alex Bentley, Maggie Lucas).

The Big East led all conferences with seven selections, followed by the ACC with six, the Big 12 and Big 10 with five each, the SEC, Pac-12 and CAA with two, and the Ivy League with one. Williams and Mosqueda-Lewis were the only sophomores chosen.

About the John R. Wooden Award

The 37th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners the weekend of April 5-7, 2013. It will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and will recognize the Legends of Coaching Award recipient Bill Self of Kansas.

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball.  It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.  Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11).

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s name.   Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament.  The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award ceremony.

Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com.  For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5206 or email at woodenaward@laac.net.

2012-13 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 List, Women

Name

Height

Class

Position

University Conference
Alex Bentley 5-7 Sr. G Penn State Big Ten
Carolyn Davis 6-3 Sr. F Kansas Big 12
Elena Delle Donne@ 6-5 Sr. G/F Delaware CAA
Skylar Diggins@ 5-9 Sr. G Notre Dame Big East
Jasmine Dixon 6-0 Sr. F UCLA Pac-12
Stefanie Dolson 6-5 Jr. C Connecticut Big East
Shante Evans 6-0 Sr. F Hofstra CAA
Christina Foggie 5-9 Jr. G Vanderbilt SEC
Chassidy Fussell 5-10 Jr. G Texas Big 12
Angel Goodrich 5-4 Sr. G Kansas Big 12
Chelsea Gray 5-11 Jr. G Duke ACC
Brittney Griner@*# 6-8 Sr. P Baylor Big 12
Bria Hartley 5-7 Jr. G Connecticut Big East
Tayler Hill 5-10 Sr. G Ohio State Big Ten
Jordan Hooper 6-2 Jr. F Nebraska Big Ten
Natasha Howard 6-3 Jr. F Florida State ACC
Maggie Lucas 5-9 Jr. G Penn State Big Ten
Tyaunna Marshall 5-9 Jr. G Georgia Tech ACC
Anna Martin 5-9 Sr. G DePaul Big East
A’dia Mathies 5-9 Sr. G Kentucky SEC
Laurin Mincy 6-0 Jr. G Maryland ACC
Lindsey Moore 5-9 Sr. G Nebraska Big Ten
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis 6-0 So. F Connecticut Big East
Chiney Ogwumike 6-3 Jr. F Stanford Pac-12
Niveen Rasheed 6-0 Sr. F Princeton Ivy League
Sugar Rodgers 5-11 Sr. G Georgetown Big East
Shoni Schimmel 5-9 Jr. G Louisville Big East
Odyssey Sims 5-9 Jr. G Baylor Big 12
Alyssa Thomas 6-2 Jr. F Maryland ACC
Elizabeth Williams 6-3 So. C Duke ACC

(Based on a preseason poll. Players listed alphabetically.)

*indicates player chosen to the 2011 Wooden All American Team

@ indicates player chosen to the 2012 Wooden All American team

# indicates 2012 John R. Wooden Award winner

John R. Wooden Award winner honored in April 2013 at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.