March 7, 2012
WACO, Texas -
Baylor's Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims were named among 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Wednesday.
The 2012 John R. Wooden Award and the John R. Wooden Award All-America Team will be announced at the 36th Annual Wooden Award Gala April 6.
Baylor, Stanford and Miami each had two players on the final ballot; Griner and Sims were joined by Miami's Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams and Stanford's Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike. Also on the list were Elena Della Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Tiffany Hayes (Connecticut), A'dia Mathies (Kentucky), Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State), Shekinna Stricklen (Tennessee), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland), Elizabeth Williams (Duke) and Julie Wojta (Green Bay).
Griner, a 6-8 junior post, was a Wooden All-American last season as a sophomore. The Houston native is averaging 23.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and a nation's best 5.1 blocks per game. The two-time Big 12 Player of the Year and current National Player of the Year candidate is shooting an impressive 61.6 percent (281-456) from the floor and 80.7 percent (159-197) from the free throw line. Her field goal percentage ranks No. 2 nationally while she is No. 7 in points per game. With 2,128 points and 550 blocks to her credit, Griner is the first person in NCAA history, male or female, to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. Her blocks rank No. 2 on the NCAA career list.
Sims, a 5-8 sophomore guard, is one of the nation's best on-ball defenders. The Irving, Texas, native is among the nation's leaders in steals with 99 and was named to the league's All-Defensive team and first team All-Big 12. She has a team-leading 146 assists to her credit, is averaging 14.5 points per game and is shooting 44.6 percent (144-323) from the floor including 38.5 percent (47-122) from 3-point range. Sims ranks among the Big 12 leaders in free throw shooting as well, hitting 82.9 percent on the season.