Oct. 10, 2011
The list is comprised of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor. The list is chosen by a preseason poll of national college women's basketball media members.
Griner, a 6-8 post, was named to the Wooden All-American team last year as a sophomore after leading Baylor in scoring (23.1 ppg, No. 4 in the nation), and rebounds (7.8), and blocked shots (170, No. 1 in the nation). Griner was one of five finalists for last season's Wooden Award. Sims, a sophomore point guard, is listed for the first time.
Griner, the national Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus all-American last year, was also Big12 Player of the Year and the league's Defensive Player of the Year. The Houston, Texas, native was recently named to the USA National Team roster, from which the 12-member 2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team will be named. Griner is the only player on the roster with collegiate eligibility remaining. She has been named to several preseason All-America teams, was named Big 12 Conference Preseason Player of the Year and recently toured Europe with USA Basketball.
In her rookie season, Sims was a first-team All-Big 12 selection, league Freshman of the Year and an All-American honorable mention. The Irving, Texas, native averaged 13.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game as a rookie. She helped the USA claim a gold medal at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, this past summer and has earned preseason All-American recognition. In addition, she is listed by the Big 12 Conference as preseason All-Big 12.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason Wooden Award. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for December's Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March. The national ballot will consist of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation's top 10 players, will be announced the week before the Final Four.
The 36th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners. It will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, and will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2012.
Baylor is one of eight schools with multiple players chosen include Connecticut with three (Tiffany Hayes, Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley); Notre Dame with three (Skylar Diggins, Natalie Novosel, Devereaux Smith); Tennessee with two (Shekinna Stricklin, Glory Johnson); Baylor (Griner, Sims); Maryland with two (Lynetta Kizer, Alyssa Thomas); Ohio State (Samantha Prahalis, Alex Bentley); Stanford with two (Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike) and Miami with two (Shenise Johnson, Riquna Williams).