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.