Los Angeles (October 10, 2011) — The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its Women’s Preseason Top 30 list today, which 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.
The University of Tennessee placed two Lady Vols on the initial list – Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen.
“Glory and Shekinna are both coming off solid junior seasons and a great summer experience with the World University Games gold medalist USA team,” said UT head coach Pat Summitt. “In their last go-round as Lady Vols, I anticipate they will both have outstanding senior campaigns.”
Johnson is poised for an All-American senior campaign after enjoying a breakout season as a junior turning in career-best marks in every statistical category (12.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg, .534 FG %, 46 assists, 28 blocks, 50 steals. Over the summer, Johnson elevated her game as she earned a gold medal as a member of the 2011 USA World University Games team. The Knoxville, Tenn., native could become just the second Lady Vol in school history to average double-figure rebounds for a single season. Last year, Johnson did so in 2011 SEC games (only) at 10.3 rpg.
State Farm All-America Shekinna Stricklen returns for her senior season as the most versatile player in the country. As a junior, she started games at the point, on the wing and in the post and averaged 12.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg and 2.8 apg. In 2010-11, she nabbed the daring double as the SEC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches and the SEC Tournament MVP. Also selected as a USBWA All-American and was among the finalists for the John R. Wooden Award. Over the summer, Stricklen took her game to new heights on the international level as she earned a gold medal as a member of the 2011 USA World University Games team.
Other leading candidates include, Stanford senior Nneka Ogwumike who is a two-time (2010 and 2011) Wooden Award All American, and was the MVP of the West Regional a year ago after averaging 17.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in 2011. Brittney Griner was named to the All-America 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).
Ogwumike is joined on the preseason Wooden Award list by her younger sister and Cardinal teammate, Chiney. Other 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 (Stricklen, Johnson); Baylor (Griner, Odyssey Sims); Maryland with two (Lynetta Kizer, Alyssa Thomas); and Miami with two (Shenise Johnson, Riquna Williams).
The Big East led all conferences with nine selections, followed by the ACC with six, the Big 12 with four, the SEC and Big 10 with three, and the Pac-12 and CAA with two, and the Atlantic 10 with one.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. 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 consists 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.
2011-12 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 List, Women:
LaSondra Barrett, LSU
Alex Bentley Penn State
Cierra Bravard Florida State
Carolyn Davis Kansas
Elena Delle Donne Delaware
Skylar Diggins Notre Dame
Stefanie Dolson Connecticut
Chelsea Gray Duke
Brittney Griner Baylor
Keisha Hampton DePaul
Bria Hartley Connecticut
Tiffany Hayes Connecticut
Courtney Hurt VCU
Glory Johnson Tennessee
Shenise Johnson Miami
Lynetta Kizer Maryland
Natalie Novosel Notre Dame
Nnemkadi Ogwumike Stanford
Chiney Ogwuumike Stanford
Devereaux Peters Notre Dame
Samantha Prahalis Ohio State
Jaime Printy Iowa
Justine Raterman Dayton
Sugar Rodgers Georgetown
Shoni Schimmel Louisville
Odyssey Sims Baylor
Shekinna Stricklin Tennessee
Alyssa Thomas Maryland
Tyra White Texas A&M
Riquna Williams Miami
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