Ohio State's Jessica Davenport Repeats as Consensus Big Ten Player of the Year
Feb. 28, 2006
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The Big Ten women's basketball coaches and a 22-member media panel have selected Ohio State junior center Jessica Davenport as the conference's Player of the Year for the second-straight season. She is the fourth league standout to ever repeat as the Big Ten's top player, joining Northwestern's Anucha Brown (1984, 1985), Ohio State's Tracey Hall (1986, 1987), Purdue's Katie Douglas (2000, 2001) and Penn State's Kelly Mazzante (2003, 2004). Buckeye senior Kim Wilburn and mentor Jim Foster were also named Defensive Player and Coach of the Year, respectively. Iowa's Megan Skouby was tabbed Freshman of the Year, while the coaches named Purdue's Cherelle George as Sixth Player of the Year.
Davenport earned her second consecutive league scoring title after posting an average of 20.4 points per game. She also led the league in field-goal percentage (.662) and blocked shots (3.50 bpg), while averaging second in rebounding (8.2 rpg). In addition, the four-time 2005-06 Big Ten Player of the Week selection helped lead the Buckeyes to a 15-1 record in league play and their first outright conference championship since the 1985-86 season. It was the ninth Big Ten title and fourth outright league title for Ohio State, and marked the first time it won back-to-back regular season trophies since 1986 and 1987.
Wilburn, the first Buckeye to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors, was fourth in conference play with 2.25 steals per game, but holds a significant lead in the category for all games at 3.15 per contest. The school record holder in steals, Wilburn is tied with Wisconsin's Tamara Moore for second all-time in Big Ten career steals at 353. She enters the postseason 19 swipes shy of the conference record and just three steals shy of the Big Ten Tournament record.
Foster earns his second straight Coach of the Year honor as he shared the award with Michigan State's Joanne P. McCallie last season. The Buckeyes' coach recently became the Big Ten's third and the nation's 12th-active coach to possess 600 career victories. He enters postseason play with 602 career wins at three different stops in 28 seasons as a Division I head coach. He is already approaching 100 wins in Columbus, with a 98-27 record at Ohio State since 2002.
Skouby becomes the third Hawkeye to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, joining Franthea Price (1987) and Tiffany Gooden (1995). The 6-6 center is also the sixth Big Ten post-player to earn the award since 1983 and the first since Davenport in 2004. Skouby was honored by both the coaches and the media after finishing fourth in scoring with 16.8 points per game in conference play. She ranked fourth with 1.69 blocks per game, sixth with a field-goal percentage of .523, and placed near the top 15 in rebounding with 5.8 boards per game. In all games this year, she ranks fourth in the league with a .553 field goal percentage.
George, who did not record a single start in 27 regular-season games, earns the Big Ten's first-ever Sixth Player of the Year award. The junior transfer averaged 4.3 points, 2.2 steals and 1.5 assists per game, while providing a spark off the bench for the Boilermakers, who placed second in the conference at 13-3. Earlier this year, she swiped 10 steals against South Carolina, which is the second-best single-game total in the country this year.
In addition to individual honors, three All-Big Ten teams were selected by the media and coaches, while the league mentors also named a five-person All-Freshman and All-Defensive Team as well. Davenport was the lone unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection, while Indiana's Cyndi Valentin, Iowa's Crystal Smith, Michigan State's Liz Shimek and Purdue's Katie Gearlds were named to the first team by both the coaches and media.
The conference office also announced today honorees from each of the league's 11 women's basketball squads for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Honorees for women's basketball are Illinois' Maggie Acuna, Indiana's Valentin, Iowa's Krista VandeVenter, Michigan's Krista Clement, Michigan State's Shimek, Minnesota's Shannon Schonrock, Northwestern's Kristin Cartwright, Ohio State's Davenport, Penn State's Amanda Brown, Purdue's Aya Traore and Wisconsin's Janese Banks. These 11 student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.
2005-06 ALL-BIG TEN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAMS & HONORS
As selected by Big Ten coaches
As selected by Big Ten media
UNANIMOUS SELECTION IN ALL CAPS
2005-06 BIG TEN SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Maggie Acuna, Illinois; Cyndi Valentin, Indiana; Krista VandeVenter, Iowa; Krista Clement, Michigan; Liz Shimek, Michigan State; Shannon Schonrock, Minnesota; Kristin Cartwright, Northwestern; Jessica Davenport, Ohio State; Amanda Brown, Penn State; Aya Traore, Purdue; Janese Banks, Wisconsin