Dec. 1, 2011
The 51-player list includes the top women's basketball players from 35 schools around the nation, and was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012 college basketball season.
Griner, a 6-8 post, is averaging a double-double so far this season with 24.4 points and 11.3 rebounds a game. She is the Big 12 leader in both scoring average and blocks per game (5.1) and ranks No. 2 in the league in rebounds and field goal percentage (.640). Griner, has been named to every preseason All-American team and national honor watch list, is the Big 12's Preseason Player of the Year and a leading contender for National Player of the Year honors. In addition, Griner was named MVP of the Preseason WNIT and the Big 12 Player of the Week on Nov. 21.
Sims, a 5-8 point guard, scores 19.3 points per contest which ranks No. 4 among Big 12 players. Her 6.9 assists per game rank her No. 3 in the league while she is No. 2 in steals per game at 4.4. Sims is a Preseason All-Big 12 selection, was named to the Sporting News' preseason All-American team and was a Preseason WNIT All-Tournament selection.
All told, seven Big 12 women's basketball players are among the selections on the Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List.
In addition to Griner and Sims, Kansas' Carolyn Davis, Oklahoma's Aaryn Ellenberg and Whitney Hand, and Texas A&M's Sydney Carter and Tyra White were included on the list.
The 2012 Naismith Trophy will be awarded at the NCAA Women's Final Four in Denver. In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. The Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists in March.
For a complete early-season watch list, please visit: Naismith Awards