Blue, Quinn Selected As Mid-Season Naismith Trophy Candidates

Feb. 22, 2005

UCLA guards Nikki Blue and Noelle Quinn have been chosen as two of 30 mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the men's and women's players of the year. UCLA is one of just six schools to have two players on the Top 30 list.

The Top 30 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season. The list was narrowed down from the pre-season list of 50 candidates who were announced at the beginning of the season.

Blue has had a tremendous season, particularly during Pac-10 Conference play. On the year she is averaging 16.1 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game, but in conference play, she averages 18.8 points, 6.5 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game. The junior from Bakersfield, CA ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring, second in assists and steals and 16th in rebounding. She is amongst the national leaders in assists and steals, as well. Blue has recorded two double-doubles this season, including a 20-point/14-assist game at Cal on Jan. 22. She has scored 20 or more points in each of her last six games, including a 32-point effort at Arizona State, and has scored in double figures in 20 games. This season, she became the 20th player to score 1,000 career points at UCLA, and she currently has 1,341 points to rank 11th all-time. She is also only the second player in UCLA history to record 1,200 points and 400 assists in her career, joining Hall of Famer Ann Meyers.

Quinn was putting up huge numbers before injuring her knee against Arizona on Jan. 16. Prior to her injury, Quinn averaged 16.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.25 steals per game. Last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year has scored in double figures in 15 of her 16 games played and had seven 20-point scoring games, including six in a row from Nov. 21-Dec. 11. She has recorded three double-doubles, including a 27-point/11-rebound effort in the upset win over then-No. 5 Texas, and has earned U.S. Bank/Pac-10 Player of the Week honors three times this season. Quinn is also a mid-season nominee for the John R. Wooden Award and was on the pre-season Watch List for the Wade Trophy, along with Blue.

The mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Seimone Augustus, LSU
Jacqueline Batteast, Notre Dame
Steffanie Blackmon, Baylor
Nikki Blue, UCLA
Lindsay Brown, Michigan State
Jamie Carey, Texas
Monique Currie, Duke
Jessica Davenport, Ohio State
Jessalyn Deveny, Boston College
Shay Doron, Maryland
Ashley Earley, Vanderbilt
Shyra Ely, Tennessee
Sandora Irvin, TCU
Dionnah Jackson, Oklahoma
Tiffany Jackson, Texas
Temeka Johnson, LSU
Ivory Latta, North Carolina
Sancho Lyttle, Houston
Janel McCarville, Minnesota
Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers
Noelle Quinn, UCLA
Khara Smith, DePaul
Kim Smith, Utah
Ann Strother, Connecticut
Barbara Turner, Connecticut
Kendra Wecker, Kansas State
Tan White, Mississippi State
Candice Wiggins, Stanford
Tanisha Wright, Penn State
Sophia Young, Baylor

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