Aug. 17, 2005
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Michigan State's Liz Shimek and Ohio State's Jessica Davenport were named by a national awards committee consisting of leading basketball coaches, journalists, and basketball administrators Tuesday as preseason candidates for the 2006 State Farm Wade Trophy. The list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are members of an NCAA Division I institution and are selected based on the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.
Earlier in the week, Davenport was named a preseason Women's Wooden Award All-American, along with Shimek's teammate Lindsay Bowen and Purdue's Katie Gearlds.
Both Davenport and Shimek have spent a large part of their summer preparing and competing along with Ohio State's Brandie Hoskins for the United States at the World University Games, which have been contested in Izmir, Turkey, August 11-21.
In helping her Spartans to last year's national championship final, Shimek posted a rebounding average of 9.1, which ranked third in the conference, including a league-best mark of 3.54 offensive rebounds per game. The MSU senior-to-be was 14th in the Big Ten in scoring with an average of 14.8 points per game. Shimek was also named a Kodak/WBCA and an Associated Press honorable mention All-American.
Davenport garnered many accolades last season during her sophomore campaign. She was tabbed the conference's Player of the Year, as well as All-America by the Associated Press and the Kodak//WBCA committee. She was a finalist for all three prestigious National Player of the Year honors in the Naismith, Wade and Wooden awards. She also became just the third sophomore in Ohio State history to eclipse 1,000 points for her career.
The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 28th year and named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's National Player of the Year award in college basketball. This most prestigious award, regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball", is organized by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).
The Big Ten has had two State Farm Wade Trophy Award winners, most recently in 1999 when Purdue's Stephanie White-McCarty received the honor. Minnesota's Carol Ann Shudlick was the State Farm Wade Trophy winner in 1994.
The 2006 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced during the WBCA National Convention held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four in Boston, Mass., March 31-April 4, 2006.