WACO (September 18, 2012) -- Baylor center Brittney Griner, the 2012 State Farm® Wade Trophy winner, and her teammate guard Odyssey Sims are on the 25-member preseason "Wade Watch" list, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced Tuesday.
In addition to Griner, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Delaware's Elena Della Donne and Georgetown's Sugar Rodgers are on the preseason list for the third straight year. Sims, Alex Bentley of Penn State, Carolyn Davis of Kansas, Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley of Connecticut and Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford are making their second appearance on the list.
Now in its 36th year, the State Farm Wade Trophy is named in honor of the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. Regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball," the award is presented annually to the NCAA® Division I Player of the Year by the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) and the WBCA.
The preseason list is composed of top NCAA Division I women’s basketball players who best embody Wade's spirit from 18 institutions and eight conferences. A committee of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States compiled the list using the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.
Griner, a senior, returns for her final season of collegiate play after leading the Lady Bears to a perfect 40-0 record and the 2012 NCAA national championship. The 6-8 post, winner of every national player of the year award in 2012, averaged 23.2 points and 9.5 rebounds a contest and led the nation in blocked shots with 206. With her 2,425 points, 966 rebounds and 599 blocked shots, Griner needs just 34 rebounds to become the first player in NCAA history to score 2,000 points, haul down 1,000 rebounds and block over 500 shots. In addition, she needs 65 rejection to become the NCAA’s top shot blocker, she has 599 for her career, St. Mary’s Louella Tomlinson (2006-11) owns the record at 663.
Sims, a sophomore point guard, averaged 14.9 points, hauled down 3.0 rebounds and recorded a team-leading 174 assists in guiding the Lady Bears to the national title. En route to the championship, Sims tallied her 1,000th career point in Baylor’s victory over Georgia Tech in the NCAA Championships’ round of 16.
Both Griner and Sims were honored as WBCA All-Americans.
2013 State Farm Wade Trophy preseason candidates:
Alex Bentley-Penn State-Guard-Senior
Heather Butler-UT Martin-Guard-Junior
Elena Delle Donne-Delaware-Forward-Senior
Skylar Diggins-Notre Dame-Guard-Senior
Tayler Hill-Ohio State-Guard-Senior
Maggie Lucas-Penn State-Guard-Junior