Jan. 26, 2005
PARK RIDGE, IL - Four Big Ten student-athletes have been named among the top 20 women's basketball players to the Wooden Award Midseason All-America Team selected by the John R. Wooden Award National Advisory Board. Michigan State's Lindsay Bowen, Minnesota's Janel McCarville, Ohio State's Jessica Davenport and Penn State's Tanisha Wright were all named to the second annual midseason team on Saturday.
Wright, the two-time defending Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, has led the Lady Lions to the top of the Conference standings this season with a League-best 20.2 points per game and is the only player in the Big Ten to rank among the League's top five in scoring and assist averages. McCarville, the Big Ten's Preseason Player of the Year, is currently averaging 15.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.6 blocks per game. Davenport, last season's co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is fourth in the League in points (17.2) and rebounds (8.0) per game. The sophomore center also ranks fifth with a field goal percentage of .574. Bowen has posted a 15.0 scoring average through the first half of the season and is third in the League with 2.21 three-point field goals per game.
The Big Ten was one of eight NCAA conferences represented on the list, and trailed only the Big 12 (5) in player selections. Five players that were not Women's Wooden Award Preseason Candidates were added to the list, which included Bowen, Davenport, Vanderbilt's Ashley Earley, Stanford's Candice Wiggins, and Sophia Young of Baylor.
Players who did not make the midseason list are still eligible for consideration for the Wooden Award. In March, the Committee will pare the list down to an official voting ballot consisting of approximately 15 players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Over 200 voters, comprised of sports media members and women's college basketball experts across the nation, will then cast their votes for the five-member All-American team and Wooden Award honor as the most outstanding female collegiate basketball player in the United States.
The 2005 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and Legends of Coaching recipient Jim Calhoun of the University of Connecticut, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 9, 2005 and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the Awards ceremony and will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund in their name to their university's general scholarship fund.
Last year, Penn State's Kelly Mazzante and Purdue's Shereka Wright were selected to the inaugural five-player All-America team at the conclusion of the season.