Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 – Women

U. Conn’s Moore, the 2009 winner, and Stanford’s Ogwumike are returning All Americans

Los Angeles (January 11, 2011)— The John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 list was announced today by The Los Angeles Athletic Club.  The list is comprised of 20 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the current frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.

Connecticut’s Maya Moore, the 2009 Wooden Award winner and a 2008 and 2010 Wooden Award All American, is looking to become only the second four-time Wooden Award All American, after Courtney Paris of Oklahoma accomplished the feat from 2006-09. This season, Moore is averaging 23.9 points (No. 4 nationally), 7.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.5 steals, including a career-high 41 point effort in the Huskies’ record-breaking 89th straight win last month. Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike, the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, helped her team snap that streak at 90 games a week later with a win over the Huskies; on the season she averages 17.2 points and a team-best 8.4 rebounds.

The John R. Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA Tournament, making it unique among college postseason awards. Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are eligible for this midseason list but did not appear on the preseason Top 30. All players nationally who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for the official voting ballot released in March. The National Ballot consists of approximately 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.

An unprecedented nine players from the 2010 Wooden Award ballot return to the midseason list in 2011, including the nation’s No. 1 (Dawn Evans of James Madison) and No. 3 scorers (Jantel Lavender of Ohio State). The Wooden Award Women’s Advisory Board had an especially difficult task in preparing this year’s midseason list, with several members commenting that they could find six or seven additional players who were deserving beyond the 20 selected. Competition for one of the 20 spots on the Wooden Award Ballot is expected to be especially tough this year.

Stanford and North Carolina were the only two schools with two players chosen to the list. The Cardinal is represented by Ogwumike and senior forward Kayla Pedersen, while Jessica Breland and Italee Lucas, the Tar Heels’ senior leaders, are two of the four ACC players selected.

The ACC had the highest number of players chosen, with four. Other conferences with multiple players represented include the Big East (3), Pac-10 (3), Big 12 (3), SEC (2), and Big 10 (2). The Atlantic 10, CAA, and West Coast Conferences each had one selection.

The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, a special tribute to Coach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, given to Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo, will take place April 8, 2011.

Name Height Class Position University Conference
Danielle Adams 6-1 Sr. F/C Texas A&M Big 12
Kachine Alexander 5-9 Sr. G Iowa Big Ten
Angie Bjorklund 6-0 Sr. G/F Tennessee SEC
Jessica Breland 6-3 Sr. F North Carolina ACC
Skylar Diggins 5-9 So. G Notre Dame Big East
Jasmine Dixon 6-0 Jr. G UCLA Pac-10
Victoria Dunlap 6-1 Sr. F Kentucky SEC
Dawn Evans * 5-7 Sr. G James Madison CAA
Brittney Griner 6-8 So. C Baylor Big 12
Amber Harris * 6-5 Sr. F Xavier A10
Shenise Johnson 5-11 Jr. F Miami ACC
Jantel Lavender * 6-4 Sr. C Ohio State Big Ten
Italee Lucas 5-8 Sr. G North Carolina ACC
Maya Moore $#* 6-0 Sr. F Connecticut Big East
Nnemkadi Ogwumike $* 6-2 Jr. F Stanford Pac-10
Kayla Pedersen * 6-4 Jr. F Stanford Pac-10
Danielle Robinson * 5-9 Sr. G Oklahoma Big 12
Sugar Rodgers 5-11 So. G Georgetown Big East
Jasmine Thomas * 5-9 Sr. G Duke ACC
Courtney Vandersloot * 5-8 Sr. G Gonzaga WCC

(Players listed alphabetically.)
*indicates player chosen to the 2010 Wooden Award ballot
$ Indicates 2010 Wooden Award All American
# Indicated 2009 Wooden Award winner