Aug. 17, 2005
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Three Big Ten student-athletes have been selected among the top 30 women's basketball players to the Women's Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team selected by the John R. Wooden Award National Advisory Board. Michigan State's Lindsay Bowen, Ohio State's Jessica Davenport and Purdue's Katie Gearlds were named August 11 to the third annual Preseason Team.
Bowen, who was selected as a finalist for the Wooden Award last year, averaged 13.8 points while making a school-record 83 three-point field goals during the 2004-05 season. She was an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and was named to the All-Tournament team at the Final Four. The senior guard is MSU's all-time leader in three-point field goals made (226) and ranks seventh in Spartan history in scoring (1,316).
Davenport, a consensus All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year in 2005, is one of three players who were finalists for the Wooden Award last season to be named one of 30 candidates for the 2005-06 honor. Joining Davenport in the trio is Duke's Monique Currie and Seimone Augustus of LSU, who won the award last season. In 2004-05, Davenport led the Big Ten in scoring with 19.3 points per game and in blocks with 3.31 per contest. The Buckeye junior center also ranked second in the league with 9.3 rebounds per game and a field goal percentage of .587.
Gearlds, who split Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors between the media and coaches with Davenport in 2004, ranked in the top 15 in several categories last season. She averaged 14.1 points per game, 1.63 steals per contest and had a blocks average of 0.97 an outing. The junior guard was also third in the league last year with an .890 free-throw percentage.
Purdue is the lone Big Ten school to have a preseason Wooden All-American in each of the three years the award has been given. Shereka Wright was both a preseason and postseason All-American in 2003-04, while Gearlds has been named to the preseason squad the past two years.
The Big Ten has also been represented on each of the previous two five-player postseason All-America teams. Penn State's Kelly Mazzante and Purdue's Wright were honored in 2004, while Ohio State's Davenport was named to the team in 2005.
In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 List, followed in March by the official voting ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The 2006 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 8, 2006, 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.