Nov. 12, 2012
WACO, Texas -
Baylor's tandem of Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims have been selected by the Los Angeles Athletic Club to its John R. Wooden Award Women's Preseason Top 30 list, as two of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball's most prestigious honor. The list is chosen by a preseason poll of national college women's basketball media members.
Griner, the 2012 Wooden Award winner, led Baylor to last year's NCAA title, averaging 23.2 points and 9.5 rebounds. She was ranked No. 1 nationally in blocks (5.2), No. 2 in field goal percentage (.611) and No. 6 in scoring. She is the first player in NCAA history to score 2,000 points and record 500 blocked shots, and is the NCAA's No. 2 all-time shot blocker heading into her senior season. Griner was also named to the Wooden Award All American team as a sophomore.
Sims, the nation's best on-ball defender, averaged 14.9 points, 4.4 assists, 3.0 steals and 3.0 rebounds per contest as a sophomore.
Griner and Sims are both Preseason AP All-Americans, on the Wade Trophy Watch List and Preseason All-Big 12 selections.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the Preseason Top 30. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for January's midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March. The National Ballot consists of 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 five players, will be announced the week of the Final Four.
Other schools with multiple players chosen beside Baylor include Connecticut with three (Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley); and five more schools with two: Duke (Elizabeth Williams, Chelsea Gray); Kansas (Angel Goodrich, Carolyn Davis); Maryland (Laurin Mincy, Alyssa Thomas); Nebraska (Jordan Hooper, Lindsay Moore); and Penn State (Alex Bentley, Maggie Lucas).
The Big East led all conferences with seven selections, followed by the ACC with six, the Big 12 and Big 10 with five each, the SEC, Pac-12 and CAA with two, and the Ivy League with one. Williams and Mosqueda-Lewis were the only sophomores chosen.
About the John R. Wooden Award
The 37th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners the weekend of April 5-7, 2013. It will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and will recognize the Legends of Coaching Award recipient Bill Self of Kansas.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Candace Parker ('07 and '08) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09 and `11).
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award's name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award ceremony.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to Wooden Award