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Five 2014-15 Big Ten women's basketball teams appear in ESPN.com's top 25 for the coming season, including four in the top 15. Michigan State, which earned a share of the Big Ten Championship last season, leads all conference teams at No. 8, while Big Ten Tournament finalist Iowa is 12th in the ranking. Future conference member Maryland, which advanced to the national semifinals a season ago, appears at No. 14, reigning Big Ten Tournament Champion Nebraska is ranked 15th and Purdue rounds out the standings at No. 25. In addition, Minnesota and future conference member Rutgers are two of seven other squads also receiving top-25 consideration.
During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature the University of Minnesota.
Jim Brewer (1973, basketball)
Brewer earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1973. He ranks among Minnesota's career leaders in several categories, ranking first in rebounding average (12.09) and third in rebounds (907). He was named the Big Ten-Chicago Tribune MVP in 1972 after helping guide the Gophers to the Big Ten Championship. Brewer was also tabbed first-team All-Big Ten in 1973, All-Big Ten honorable mention in 1972 and was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 1971. During his final season at Minnesota, he was named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-America first team. The three-time Minnesota MVP was also a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team. A first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1973, Brewer played nine seasons in the NBA and was a member of the 1982 Los Angeles Lakers NBA Championship team. He is the uncle of former NBA player and current Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.
Uta (Herrmann) Wolfe (1992, swimming)
Wolfe, a recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1992, was a four-time Big Ten Champion for Minnesota. She was named an All-American and Academic All-American in 1992. Currently, she is an assistant professor at St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minn. Her academic interests include interaction between the senses and vision-motor control, or the way movements are guided by vision. She recently discovered a new multi-sensory illusion.
George MacKinnon (1929, football)
MacKinnon was an All-America center for Minnesota and earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1929. Following his playing career, he served as an assistant coach for the Gophers from 1929-31. Afterwards, he served as a U.S. Navy officer during World War II. He became an attorney involved in high-profile labor racketeering cases and later a politician. MacKinnon served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from 1969 until his death in 1995.
Carol Ann Shudlick (1994, basketball)
A 1994 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Shudlick led Minnesota to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in her senior season and was named the Wade Trophy winner and Big Ten Player of the Year that same year. Shudlick ranks in the top 10 in numerous Gopher categories, including second in scoring (2,097), seventh in blocks (84) and steals (173), and eighth in rebounds (727). She was a two-time All-American, three-time All-Big Ten selection and Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Following her collegiate career, Shudlick played professionally overseas and in the ABL. She was inducted into the "M" Club Hall of Fame and was honored on the NCAA's list of 209 student-athletes named "NCAA Women's Basketball's Finest."
Michael J. Polich (1975, hockey)
Polich, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1975, helped lead Minnesota to its first NCAA championship in 1974. The Hibbing, Minn., native paced the Gophers in scoring for three straight seasons, tallying 159 career points (70 goals, 89 assists) in 149 career games. As a senior in 1974-75, Polich was named a first-team All-American after notching 25 goals and 62 points. He went on to play in 226 games in the NHL, including three seasons with the Minnesota North Stars.
Cassie Busse (2004, volleyball)
Busse earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2004. She led Minnesota to four-straight NCAA Tournaments, including the national semifinals in 2003, where she was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team. Busse was a two-time All-American, Academic All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honoree, and earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition three times. The opposite side hitter was the 2003 Big Ten Player of the Year and guided the Gophers to their only Big Ten Championship in 2002. The Shakopee, Minn., native ranks seventh in kills (1,502) and eighth in attack percentage (.294) and aces (168) in the Minnesota record book. Following her collegiate career, Busse joined the U.S. national team in 2005.
Ohio State's Katie Smith (1996, women's basketball)
Smith finished her Ohio State career as the Big Ten's all-time leading scorer and won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1996. She was Big Ten Player of the Year as a senior and led the conference in scoring in 1995 and 1996. A three-time All-Big Ten honoree, Smith guided Ohio State to the 1993 NCAA final as a freshman, scoring 28 points in the game. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection before beginning her professional basketball career. Smith recently completed her 15-year WNBA career as one of the league's all-time leading scorers, a seven-time All-Star, a two-time champion and was named one of the top-15 players in WNBA history.
Two Big Ten standouts were selected in the 2014 WNBA Draft on Monday night, marking the 17th time in 18 years multiple conference players were selected in the annual event. Nebraska's Jordan Hooper was chosen with the first pick in the second round, going 13th overall to the Tulsa Shock, while Penn State's Maggie Lucas was selected 21st overall by the Phoenix Mercury. Both earned Big Ten Player of the Year accolades as seniors this past season.
Hooper becomes the second Husker in as many years to be selected in the draft, following Lindsey Moore, who was taken in the first round by the Minnesota Lynx in 2013. Hooper is the sixth Husker in program history to be selected in the draft. She finished the year ranked among the conference leaders in numerous categories, ranking third in scoring at 20.4 points per game and fourth in rebounds at 9.1 per game. She also drained 80 three-point field goals at a rate of 36.4 percent this year, marks that ranked among the top 15 in the Big Ten this year. She ended the year earning WBCA All-America honors as well as earning second-team AP All-America status.
Lucas gives Penn State three WNBA Draft choices in the last two years, joining Alex Bentley and Nikki Greene from a season ago. Overall, 15 Lady Lions have been selected in the draft's history. Lucas completed her Penn State career as one of the Big Ten's most decorated scorers, ranking first in Big Ten history in three-point field goals with 365. Her 2,510 career points ranks second in program history and fourth in conference annals, and shot 90.7 percent from the free-throw line, setting both Big Ten and school records. As a senior, Lucas garnered USBWA All-America honors, third-team AP All-America status and honorable mention WBCA All-America distinction.
Penn State Release
During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature Michigan State University.
Shawn Horcoff (2000, hockey)
Before embarking on a career in the National Hockey League that now includes more than 800 games played, Horcoff was a model student-athlete in East Lansing. He was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2000, the same year that he was named a first-team All-America selection. Horcoff, who was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, currently plays for the Dallas Stars and eclipsed the 450-point plateau for his career this season.
Greg Kelser (1979, basketball)
Kelser, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1979, was the leading scorer and rebounder on Michigan State's 1979 NCAA Championship team. He was the first Spartan to score more than 2,000 points and collect at least 1,000 rebounds in his career. Kelser's 2,014 points rank fourth at Michigan State and his 1,092 rebounds are second all-time. In 1979, he earned All-America honors, was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and was named to the Wooden Award All-America Team. He also collected Academic All-America honors in 1979. Kelser was a first-round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons and played six seasons in the NBA. He is the lead analyst for the Pistons on Fox Sports Detroit and also serves as a college basketball analyst on BTN. Kelser earned the Michigan State University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004 and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Val Sterk (1997, volleyball)
One of the most decorated student-athletes in Spartan volleyball history, Sterk earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1997. She was a four-year letterwinner for Michigan State from 1993-96, leading the Spartans to three NCAA Tournaments and a share of the Big Ten title in 1996. Sterk was the National Co-Player of the Year in 1995, a two-time first-team All-American (1995-96), a third-team Academic All-America honoree (1996) and a three-time first-team All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten selection (1994-96). She has left her mark in Michigan State's record book, ranking in the top 10 in nine different career categories, including first in attack percentage (.379) and block solos (128). She led the Spartans in hitting efficiency and solo blocks every year of her career. Following her time in East Lansing, Sterk went on to compete on the U.S. National Team from 1997-2000 and was inducted into the Michigan State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
Allyssa DeHaan (2010, basketball)
DeHaan earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2010 and currently ranks third in NCAA history with 503 career blocks. She holds four of the top 10 spots on the conference's single-season block list, including the top two spots. She was a four-time All-Big Ten selection, four-time All-Defensive Team pick and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. DeHaan was tabbed Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2007 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, the same year she earned AP honorable mention All-America status. In addition to her defensive prowess, she ranks fourth in Michigan State history in points (1,649) and fifth in rebounds (919). In 2011, DeHaan enrolled in Grand Valley State's post-graduate physician's assistant program and joined the Lakers' volleyball team.
Kelly Miller (1984, hockey)
Miller, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1984, tallied 164 points (82 goals, 82 assists) during his 165-game collegiate career. As a senior captain in 1984-85, Miller led the Spartans to a school-record 38 wins and was named a First-Team All-American and Hobey Baker Award finalist. Miller went on to play in more than 1,000 games during a 15-year career in the NHL. He completed his MBA at Michigan State in 1995 and returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach in 2011.
Robert Jasson (1958, hockey)
Jasson, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1958, tallied 34 points from the blue line between 1955-56 and 1957-58. Named the team's Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the 1956-57 campaign, Jasson helped lead the Spartans to their first winning record in program history in 1957-58. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jasson was a two-year captain for Michigan State, wearing the "C" in 1956-57 and 1957-58. He was just the second two-year captain in program history.
Jenilee Rathje (2012, volleyball)
A 2012 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Rathje was a four-year letterwinner for Michigan State, leading the Spartans to three NCAA Championship appearances. She ranks first in Michigan State history in matches (142) and sets (496) played. She is also eighth in kills (1,486) and block assists (332) and 10th in total blocks (366). The Mount Pleasant, Mich., native was named third-team All-America and an Academic All-American in 2011. Rathje was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. She was twice named MVP of the Spartans in 2010 and 2011. Rathje currently coaches volleyball at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy in Pontiac, Mich.
Four Big Ten women's basketball squads were ranked in the final USA Today Coaches Poll of the 2013-14 season, released on Wednesday. Penn State led the list of ranked conference teams, coming in at No. 14. Nebraska checked in at No. 17, followed by No. 19 Purdue and No. 23 Michigan State. Iowa was receiving votes in the poll.
Penn State's Helen Holloway (1994, basketball)
A 1994 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Holloway led Penn State to its first Big Ten Championship in her senior season. She guided the Lady Lions to four NCAA Tournament appearances, tallying 1,022 points and 598 rebounds in her career. Holloway was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and was tabbed the Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year in 1991. She was named to the NCAA Midwest All-Region team in 1994 and is tied for most rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game in Lady Lion history with 16.
University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Norwood Teague announced today the hiring of Marlene Stollings as the 11th head coach in the history of the Golden Gopher women's basketball program. Stollings comes to Minnesota after two successful years at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she led the Rams to a 33-29 record and one of the top turnarounds in the nation in 2013-14. Prior to her stint at VCU, Stollings led a one-year resurgence at Winthrop University in 2011-12, where the Eagles posted just their second winning season in the last 26 years of the program.
"Marlene Stollings is one of the most respected young coaches in the country and we are thrilled to have her leading the Minnesota women's basketball program," Teague said. "Her up-tempo style, ability to recruit the nation's best talent and successful track record are undeniable. I am excited for our student-athletes and fans, as Marlene will bring an energetic style of basketball to Williams Arena."
"I am extremely proud to be named the head coach at the University of Minnesota," Stollings said. "I want to thank President Eric Kaler and Director of Athletics Norwood Teague for believing in my vision for the future of this storied program and for giving me this opportunity. Minnesota has great tradition and I cannot wait to be part of it. I am looking forward to meeting the team and great fans of Gopher basketball."
For the full Minnesota release, click HERE.
Nebraska's Jordan Hooper was named to the 10-member WBCA All-America Team, it was announced on Saturday at the Women's Final Four in Nashville, Tenn. Hooper earns her second All-America honor of the postseason, having recently garnered second-team AP All-America status. A Senior CLASS Award finalist and Big Ten Player of the Year, Hooper becomes the first Husker to earn WBCA honors since Kelsey Griffin in 2010 and is the third Nebraska player to be so honored in program history.
In addition, Iowa's Samantha Logic, Minnesota teammates Rachel Banham and Amanda Zahui B. and Penn State's Maggie Lucas were among those named WBCA Honorable Mention All-Americans. Zahui is one of two freshmen to earn honorable mention distinction.
Michigan's Diane Dietz (1982, women's basketball)
Michigan's all-time leading scorer with 2,076 career points, Dietz was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1982, the first Wolverine female to claim the honor. She ranks high on various career lists, including first in field goals made (940), second in scoring average (19.6), fourth in steals (229) and 14th in rebounds (559), as well as holding numerous single-season records. Dietz was also a three-time Academic All-American from 1980-82 and became just the second Michigan student-athlete to be inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2009. Following her collegiate career, she went on to earn her law degree and is currently the Chief Communications Officer for the Big Ten Conference.