March 16, 2005
PARK RIDGE, IL - The U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced today that three Big Ten student-athletes have been named to the 2005 USBWA All-America Team. Minnesota's Janel McCarville, Ohio State's Jessica Davenport and Penn State's Tanisha Wright, were among 10 players named to the annual team.
Davenport led all League scorers in Conference games this season with a 21.7 points per game average. She captured the scoring crown by nearly 3.0 points over Wright and Illinois' Angelina Williams. Both Davenport and Wright currently share the all-game scoring lead entering NCAA play this week at 19.3 points per game. Davenport is also averaging 9.1 rebounds on the year and leads all Big Ten shot-blockers at a clip of 3.41 blocks per game. The Big Ten Player of the Year set the Conference record of 12 blocks against Michigan State on February 20, when she recorded her first career triple-double of 19 points, 13 rebounds and a dozen swats. She currently has 109 blocks this season, making her just the third Big Ten shot-blocker to ever record 100 or more rejections in a game.
McCarville enters this week's postseason play as the first Golden Gopher to play in four NCAA Tournaments. Throughout her final season, the senior center ranked among the leaders in every major Big Ten individual statistical category. On the year, McCarville has averaged 16.3 points (8th), 10.3 rebounds (1st), 3.8 assists (6th), 2.2 steals (6th) and 2.0 blocks per game (2nd). She recently led her Minnesota squad to its first-ever Big Ten Tournament final and is set to help lead the Golden Gophers to another magical postseason run. Last season, McCarville shattered the NCAA Tournament rebound record with 75 total boards, while helping Minnesota to its first-ever Final Four.
Wright has been the mark of consistency throughout her Big Ten career. The Lady Lion guard caused problems for her opponents at both ends of the floor this season. Along with her League-leading overall scoring average, Wright also garnered her third consecutive Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award. Currently, Wright is closing in on the 2,000-point plateau, with 1,976 entering the NCAA Tournament. She reached double-digit scoring figures in all but one game this season, eclipsed 20 points on 13 occasions and registered three 30-point games, all while often assigned to guard the opponent's top player.
All three standouts have helped their respective teams to three of the top 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. First- and second-round action gets underway this weekend as Minnesota remains home in Minneapolis, while Ohio State and Penn State travel to College Park, Md.
USBWA ALL-AMERICA HONORS
1999 -- Stephanie White-McCarty, Purdue
2001 -- Katie Douglas, Purdue
2002 -- Kelly Mazzante, Penn State; Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota
2003 -- Kelly Mazzante, Penn State; Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota; Shereka Wright, Purdue
2004 -- Kelly Mazzante, Penn State; Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota; Shereka Wright, Purdue
2005 -- Jessica Davenport, Ohio State; Janel McCarville, Minnesota; Tanisha Wright, Penn State
USBWA COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS
1999 -- Carolyn Peck, Purdue
2002 -- Brenda Oldfield, Minnesota