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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Midseason Wooden Watch List: Griner, Diggins, Delle Donne, Ogwumike Highlight List of 20 Candidates

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Photo Caption: Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike (left) and Nnemkade (“Nneka”) Ogwumike (right) became the first pair of sisters ever named to the midseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award, one of the most prestigious individual honors in college basketball, when the list was announced Thursday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Nneka Ogwumike has twice been named to the Wooden All-American team (2010, 2011). Baylor’s Brittney Griner, who also made the midseason watch list, was named to the Wooden All-American team in 2011.

Photo Credit: Chiney Ogwumike Image Courtesy UT Athletics Media Relations; Nneka Ogwumike Image by Full Court Press/Lee Michaelson©




By Lee Michaelson
Publisher

The midseason John R. Wooden Award Watch List was announced today by the sponsoring LA Athletic Club, narrowing the field of candidates for one of the most prestigious awards in women’s basketball.

Baylor junior Brittney Griner and Stanford senior Nnemkade Ogwumike highlighted, both of whom were named Wooden Award All-Americans in 2011 (Ogwumike was also named a Wooden Award All-American in 2010) highlighted the list which narrowed the field of candidates to the 20 frontrunners based on their performances in November, December and January of the 2011-12 season.

Griner is averaging 22.5 points per game (No. 7 nationally in scoring) for undefeated and No. 1-ranked Baylor; she also ranks No. 4 in field-goal percentage (61 percent), No. 24 in rebounding (9.9) and No. 1 in blocked shots (5.4), and, though only a junior, is closing in on the NCAA’s all-time record for blocks. Ogwumike has carried Stanford, which has suffered only one defeat this season, to a No. 4 ranking in both major national polls; individually, Ogwumike leads the Pac-12 and ranks No. 6 in the nation in scoring (22.9 ppg) and No. 7 nationally in rebounding (11.2 rpg).

Also among the frontrunners are Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne and Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, both of whom return to the field of midseason candidates for a second year after being nominated in 2010-11. Delle Donne has led Delaware to its first-ever Top 25 ranking and is currently the nation’s leading collegiate scorer, averaging 27.9 points per game, and ranks No. 26 in the NCAA in reboundings (9.8) and No. 16 in field-goal percentage (55.2 percent). Skylar Diggins leads No. 2-ranked Notre Dame with 17 points, 5.8 assists (No. 15 in the NCAA) and 2.5 steals per game.

Others returning to the watch list for a second year after making the ballot previously include Georgetown’s Sugar Rodgers, Shekinna Stricklen of Tennessee, and Shenise Johnson of Miami. Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis was on the ballot in 2010, along with Stricklen, Nneka Ogwumike and Delle Donne.


The Wooden Award, created in 1976 in honor of Hall of Fame player and coach John R. Wooden, was first bestowed upon female players in 2004. The award is presented annually to the “Most Outstanding College Basketball Player in the United States,” based on the voting of a media committee, which considers a player’s performance in the regular season, conference tournaments, and the postseason, as well as the player’s character.

Past recipients include Duke’s Alana Beard (2004), LSU’s Seimone Augustus (2005, 2006), Tennessee’s Candace Parker (2007, 2008), and Connecticut’s Maya Moore (2009, 2011) and Tina Charles (2010).

This season’s Wooden Award winner, together with the Wooden All-American team and University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, whose selection as the Wooden Legends of Coaching Award winner was previously announced, will be honored on Friday, April 6, 2012, following the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four, at the annual Awards Gala. 

The BIG EAST led all conferences with five Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 selections, followed by the ACC with four; the SEC with three; and the Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12 and CAA each with two apiece.

Five schools had two players chosen: Notre Dame (Diggins and Natalie Novosel); Tennessee (Stricklen and Glory Johnson); Stanford (Nneka Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike—the first pair of sisters ever named to the midseason list); Baylor (Griner and Odyssey Sims) and Connecticut (Bria Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis).

UConn’s Mosqueda-Lewis and Duke’s Elizabeth Williams of Duke were the only freshmen named to the midseason watch list.

The entire list of the Wooden Midseason Top 20 includes the following:

2011-2012 John R. Wooden Award
Women’s Midseason Top 20 List
Player Height Class Position University Conference
Alex Bentley5-7Sr.GPenn StateBig Ten
Elena Delle Donne6-5Jr.F/GDelawareCAA
Skylar Diggins5-9Jr.GNotre DameBIG EAST
Shante Evans6-0Jr.FHofstraCAA
Brittney Griner*6-8Jr.CBaylorBig 12
Bria Hartley5-7So.GConnecticutBIG EAST
Glory Johnson6-3GSFTennesseSEC
Shenise Johnson5-11Sr.GMiamiACC
A’dia Mathies5-9Jr.GKentuckySEC
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis6-0Fr.FConnecticutBIG EAST
Natalie Novosel5-11Sr.GNotre DameBIG EAST
Chiney Ogwumike6-3So.FStanfordPac-12
Nneka Ogwumike*6-2Sr.FStanfordPac-12
Samantha Prahalis5-7Sr.GOhio StateBig Ten
Sugar Rodgers5-11Jr.GGeorgetownBIG EAST
Odyssey Sims5-9So.GBaylorBig 12
Shekinna Stricklen6-2Sr.G/FTennesseeSEC
Alyssa Thomas6-2So.FMarylandACC
Elizabeth Williams6-3Fr.CDukeACC
Riquna Williams5-7Sr.GMiamiACC
* indicates player was previously selected as a 2011 Wooden Award All American.
GS indicates player is a graduate student with at least one year of remaining collegiate eligibility.


To allow our readers to evaluate how the nominees stack up, we compare their statistical performance for the 2011-2012 season to date in the table below. Current NCAA rankings are also shown when a player ranks in the top 50 of NCAA Division I players in a given statistical category:

2011-2012 John R. Wooden Award
Women’s Midseason Top 20 Statistical Comparision
Player Position Scoring Rebounds Field-Goal % 3-Pt Field-Goal % Assists Steals Blocks
Alex BentleyG15.23.146.234.35.5
NCAA-#23
3.2
NCAA-#20
0.3
Elena Delle DonneF/G28.7
NCAA-#1
9.8
NCAA-#26
55.2
NCAA-#16
47.5
1.6/game**
2.61.32.6
NCAA-#22
Skylar DigginsG17.03.052.8
NCAA-#38
38.3
0.8/game**
5.8
NCAA-#15
2.50.5
Shante EvansF18.2
NCAA-#43
10.2
NCAA-#18
51.2
NCAA-#46
0.00.91.20.9
Brittney Griner*C22.7
NCAA-#7
9.9
NCAA-#24
62.0
NCAA-#4
100
0.05/game**
1.20.65.4
NCAA-#1
Bria HartleyG14.54.052.2
NCAA-#46
38.8
1.8/game**
4.22.10.1
Glory JohnsonF14.09.5
NCAA-#43
55.9
NCAA-#11
0.01.11.81.0
Shenise JohnsonG16.27.645.533.35.0
NCAA-#41
3.9
NCAA-#3
0.5
A’dia MathiesG15.65.545.838.5
1.75/game**
2.53.0
NCAA-#32
0.7
Kaleena Mosqueda-LewisF14.55.442.237.3
NCAA-#39
2.01.50.6
Natalie NovoselG15.43.646.742.0
0.9/game**
1.11.10.4
Chiney OgwumikeF15.610.6
NCAA-#20
58.8
NCAA-#6
0.01.40.80.7
Nneka Ogwumike*F22.3
NCAA-#No. 6
11.1
NCAA-#7
55.1
NCAA-#10
0.01.31.20.9
Samantha PrahalisG18.7
NCAA-#26
4.643.933.67.0
NCAA-#7
2.20.2
Sugar RodgersG19.9
NCAA-#16
5.136.031.11.72.60.3
Odyssey SimsG15.53.244.542.7
1.8/game**
5.4
NCAA-#29
3.5
NCAA-#8
0.0
Shekinna StricklenG/F14.96.343.634.81.91.60.5
Alyssa ThomasF17.27.746.923.53.11.70.3
Elizabeth WilliamsC14.28.750.20.01.51.53.8
NCAA-#3
Riquna WilliamsG15.53.138.934.52.82.10.6
Note: **—A minimum of 2.0 made three-pointers per game is required to achieve an NCAA ranking regardless of three-point percentage.


Originally published Sat, January 28, 2012


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NCAA DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Week: February 7, 2012
RANK SCHOOL RECORD LAST WEEK'S RANK PRESEASON RANK AP RANK POINTS
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
(61)
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
(70)
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
(38)
92
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
(18)
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
(13)
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
(23)
NR-RV
(19)
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.