March 14, 2013
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 Thursday. Griner, a two-time Wooden All-American, and Sims were both finalists last season and Griner went on to win the prestigious award.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation's top five players, will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Championships. The John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year will be announced at the 2013 Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy's on April 12, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Baylor, Connecticut and Duke each had two players on the final ballot; Griner and Sims were joined by UConn's Stefanie Dolson and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Duke's Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams. Also on the list were Kelsey Bone (Texas A&M), Elena Della Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Tianna Hawkins, (Maryland), Maggie Lucas (Penn State), A'dia Mathies (Kentucky), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Meighan Simmons (Tennessee) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland).
Griner, a 6-8 senior post from Houston, Texas, is averaging 23.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per game. The three-time Big 12 Player of the Year and reigning consensus National Player of the Year is shooting an impressive 60.4 percent (324-536) from the floor and 71.0 percent (130-183) from the free throw line. In addition, her assist/turnover ratio is an impressive 1.32. Her field goal percentage ranks No. 1 nationally while she is No. 3 in points per game. Griner ranks No. 2 on the NCAA's career scoring chart with 3,203 points and holds the NCAA record for blocked shots with 736.
Sims, a 5-8 junior guard, is one of the nation's best on-ball defenders. The Irving, Texas, was named to the Big 12's All-Defensive team and first team All-Big 12, both for the second straight year. She has a team-leading 165 assists to her credit, is averaging 12.5 points per game and is shooting 47.6 percent (127-267) from the floor including 34.2 percent (25-73) from 3-point range. Sims ranks among the Big 12 leaders in free throw shooting as well, hitting 82.2 percent on the season. Sims takes care of the ball as well, ranking No.2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio (2.7).