KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Lady Vol seniors Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen along with sophomore Meighan Simmons have been recognized among the group of 51 players chosen for the 2011-12 preseason candidate list for the Naismith Trophy as announced Wednesday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
The Naismith Trophy is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate women's basketball player and is named in honor of the inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith. The 51-player watch list represents 35 schools and 13 conferences. UT is joined by Notre Dame and Connecticut as the only institutions with three candidates for the award.
The candidate pool will be trimmed with the selection of the Midseason Top 30 List in February, and that list will be whittled to four finalists in March. The Naismith Trophy will be presented during the NCAA Women's Final Four, April 1-3 in Denver.
The Tennessee trio has collected accolades throughout the preseason. Johnson made the list of nominees for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and was named to the Wooden Award Top 30 list in October. Stricklen joined Johnson on the Wooden Award Top 30 list and was named to the Associated Press Preseason All-America squad. Johnson, Stricklen and Simmons were each named to Preseason All-SEC squads with Stricklen tabbed preseason player of the year.
Stricklen currently leads UT in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game. Johnson leads Tennessee off the glass and is nearly averaging a double-double with 13.2 points and 9.4 boards per game. Simmons led the Lady Vols in scoring as a freshman in 2010-11, dropping 13.5 points per game en route to SEC Freshman of the Year laurels.
No. 8 Tennessee returns to the court Sunday when they tip off against Texas at 2 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tickets are available at UTTix.com.