Jan. 11, 2006
ATLANTA, Ga. - Liz Shimek of Michigan State University and Oklahoma's Courtney Paris have been named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Co-Players of the Month.
Shimek is the second Big Ten student-athlete to earn the award, which was started during the 2003-04 season. Ohio State's Jessica Davenport became the first when honored in 2005 for the month of January.
Through the month of December, Shimek averaged 22.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals in 12 games while shooting 71.3 percent from the field. She was also named Big Ten Player of the Week twice in the month of December (Dec. 5 and 12). Shimek leads all Big Ten Players with eight 20+-point games.
On top of those accomplishments, Shimek first in scoring, second in rebounding and third in field goal percentage for the season. In her outstanding performance vs. Pepperdine on Dec. 4, Shimek was 13-of-15 (.867) from the field, earning her the second highest percentage in the Big Ten this year. She is also currently tied for second in 2005-2006 double-doubles with five, three of which came in December.
Named as a preseason candidate for The State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year for the 2005-2006 season, Shimek finished the 2004-2005 season as a Kodak/WBCA All-America Team honorable mention. She also broke MSU's single-season rebounds record (335) and tied single-season scoring mark (546) as a junior.
As of December, Oklahoma's Courtney Paris averaged 22.3 points, 14.7 rebounds and 3.23 blocks in 13 games while shooting 63.5 percent from the field. Paris was named both the Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week for games from Dec. 19-31. She leads the Big 12 in scoring and in rebounds per game.
Paris has recorded a total of 10 double-doubles on the season, five of those coming in December. She averaged 23 points and 16.7 rebounds in December's six games, two against Top 20 teams, while playing only 164 of a possible 240 minutes. Her 22 boards against UCLA are tied for second nationally while her 21 boards vs. Michigan State are tied for fifth in the nation.
Prior to Oklahoma, Paris averaged 27.4 points, 18.9 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game as a senior at Piedmont High School (Piedmont, Calif.). Paris was also a participant in the 2005 WBCA High School All-America Game.
Also nominated: Jessica Smith, Stony Brook (America East); Ivory Latta, Univ. of North Carolina (Atlantic Coast); B.J. Banjo, East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun); Cara Wright, Dayton (Atlantic 10); Jessica Dickson, Univ. of South Florida (Big East); Mandy Morales, Montana (Big Sky); Megan Frazee, Liberty (Big South); Crystal McCutcheon, Long Beach State (Big West); Tamera Young, James Madison (Colonial Athletic); Jillian Robbins, Univ. of Tulsa (Conference USA); Nicole Soulis, UW-Green Bay (Horizon League); Becky Brown, Princeton Univ. (Ivy League); Fifi Camara, Marist College (Metro Atlantic); Heather Turner, Univ. of Buffalo (Mid-American); Zane Teilane, Western Illinois (Mid-Continent); Shannon Carlisle, Howard (Mid-Eastern); Melanie Boeglin, Indiana State (Missouri Valley); Kim Smith, Univ. of Utah (Mountain West); Ashley Haynes, Austin Peay (Ohio Valley); Lisa Willis, UCLA (Pacific-10); Jenny Callan, Lehigh Univ. (Patriot League); Sylvia Fowles, Louisiana State Univ. (Southeastern); Kitara McMoore, Elon (Southern); Rolanda Monroe, Southern (Southwestern); Crystal Kelly, Western Kentucky (Sun Belt); Michelle Cozad, Santa Clara Univ. (West Coast); Tasha Williams, Louisiana Tech (Western Athletic).
WBCA National Player of the Month is based on achievements during the respective month for nomination. All nominations must come from the conference office and the player's head coach must be a member of the WBCA.
Founded in 1981, the WBCA promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as an amateur sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit WBCA.org.