Blue, Quinn, Wiggins Named To Naismith Mid-Season List

Feb. 22, 2005

Three Pac-10 women's basketball players -- UCLA's Nikki Blue and Noelle Quinn and STANFORD's Candice Wiggins -- are listed among the top-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, while Wiggins is the lone freshman.

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, Calif., 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.

Wiggins, the lone freshman to make the mid-season list, leads the No. 3/2 Cardinal in scoring and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 17.4 points per game. She recorded a career-best 31 points at ASU and also tallied a career-high six assists and six steals (five of which resulted in breakaway layups). She tacked on a 28-point performance at Arizona on Jan. 9, and earned her first Pac-10 Player of the Week nod. Against the Los Angeles schools on Jan. 20 & 22, she scored a combined 42 points in two games -- in only 48 minutes -- to earn her second weekly conference honor. Wiggins also leads Stanford with 70 steals this season. Candice's late father, Alan, also had a knack for steals - in 1984 he helped the San Diego Padres to the World Series and set the club's single-season record with 70 stolen bases (besting his own record of 66 from the year before). Alan Wiggins ranks third all-time in Padres history with 171 stolen bases in his career.

Quinn and Wiggins are also listed as mid-season nominees for the John R. Wooden Award, announced last month.

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

Player Height Class Position School
Seimone Augustus 6-1 Jr. Guard LSU
Jacqueline Batteast 6-2 Sr. Forward Notre Dame
Steffanie Blackmon 6-2 Sr. Forward Baylor
Nikki Blue 5-8 Jr. Guard UCLA
Lindsay Brown 5-7 Jr. Guard Michigan State
Jamie Carey 5-6 Sr. Guard Texas
Monique Currie 6-0 Jr. Guard Duke
Jessica Davenport 6-4 So. Center Ohio State
Jessalyn Deveny 5-9 Sr. Guard Boston College
Shay Doron 5-9 So. Guard MarylandvAshley Earley 5-10 Sr. Guard/Forward Vanderbilt
Shyra Ely 6-2 Sr. Forward Tennessee
Sandora Irvin 6-3 Sr. Forward TCU
Dionnah Jackson 5-9 Sr. Guard Oklahoma
Tiffany Jackson 6-3 So. Forward Texas
Temeka Johnson 5-3 Sr. Guard LSU
Ivory Latta 5-6 So. Guard North Carolina
Sancho Lyttle 6-4 Sr. C/F Houston
Janel McCarville 6-2 Sr. Center Minnesota
Cappie Pondexter 5-9 Sr. Guard Rutgers
Noelle Quinn 6-0 So. Guard UCLA
Khara Smith 6-2 Jr. Forward DePaul
Kim Smith 6-1 Jr. Forward Utah
Ann Strother 6-2 Jr. Guard Connecticut
Barbara Turner 6-0 Jr. F/G Connecticut
Kendra Wecker 5-11 Sr. Forward Kansas State
Tan White 5-7 Sr. Guard Mississippi State
Candice Wiggins 5-11 Fr. Guard Stanford
Tanisha Wright 5-11 Sr. Guard Penn State
Sophia Young 6-1 Jr. Forward Baylor