ATLANTA - The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced the All-Region nominees for the NCAA Division I 2012 Coaches' All-America Team. On Monday, March 19, the selection committee will review the 52 candidates and trim the list to 40 finalists, all of whom will all be in the running for selection to the 10-member WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team.
The Baylor trio of junior Brittney Griner, sophomore Odyssey Sims and junior Destiny Williams were named to the seven-member WBCA Coaches' All-Region 5 team. All three are candidates for the 2012 WBCA Coaches' All-America Basketball Team.
Former Lady Bear Sophia Young became Baylor's first two-time WBCA All-American with selections in 2005 and `06. Suzie Snider Eppers was Baylor's first WBCA All-American in 1977, Sheila Lambert was honored in 2002 and Griner was a 2011 selection. Griner was an honorable mention pick as a freshman in 2010 and Sims earned honorable mention kudos as a freshman in 2011.
The 2012 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Basketball Team will be announced during the WBCA National Convention on Saturday, March 31 at 1:05 p.m. (MT) during the NCAA's Super Saturday festivities at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Griner, Sims and Williams are joined on the seven-member All-Region 5 team by Carolyn Davis and Angel Goodrich from Kansas, Tyra White of Texas A&M and Iowa State's Chelsea Poppens. Griner received her third all-region selection while Sims was named all-region for the second straight season.
Griner, a 6-8 junior post, was named the Big 12 Player of the Year for the second straight season and was the league's Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight year, has led the top-ranked Lady Bears to a perfect 34-0 record, both the Big 12 Conference regular season and postseason tournament crowns and an undefeated league record at 18-0. In addition, Griner was named the Big 12 Championships' most outstanding player for the second straight year, received ESPN.com's National Player of the Year honors and was named one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy.
Griner is averaging 23.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.2 blocks per game while shooting 61.4 percent from the floor and 80.4 percent from the free throw line. She scored a career-high and tournament-record 45 points in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals vs. Kansas State. The Houston, Texas, native ranks No. 1 nationally in blocks per game, No. 2 in field goal percentage, No. 5 in scoring and No. 36 in rebounding. She is atop the Big 12 Conference rankings as well; No. 1 in scoring, field goal percentage and blocks, No. 2 in rebounding and No. 7 in free throw percentage.
Throughout her three-year career, Griner has registered a Big 12 record 568 career blocked shots, and ranks No. 2 on the NCAA Division I Career Top 10 list; she trails record-holder Louella Tomlinson's 663 rejections by 95.
In addition, Griner has scored 2,289 career points and blocked 568 shots; she is the first player in NCAA Division basketball history to record 2,000 points and 500 blocks.
Sims, a 5-8 point guard, is one of the nation's best on-ball defenders and ranks among the nation's best in steals (No. 19, 3.1) and assists (No. 51, 4.6) and averages 14.8 points per game. She ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 in steals, is No. 3 in 3-point field goal percentage (.391), No. 4 in free throw percentage (.837), No. 5 in assists and No. 6 in both scoring and assist/turnover ratio (.). The talented sophomore is a two-time All-Big 12 selection and was named to the Big 12 Championships' all-tournament team.
Williams, a 6-1, forward post, leads the team in double-digit rebounding games with 17 outings and led the Big 12 Conference in rebounding in league games with 10.6 a contest. The second-team All-Big 12 team selection was named to the Big 12 Championships' all-tournament team. Williams averages 9.9 points and 9.3 rebounds a game and has 12 double-doubles on the season.