Four Pac-10 Players Named 2005-06 Wooden Award Candidates
Aug. 12, 2005
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Four Pac-10 players, led by UCLA's Nikki Blue and Noelle Quinn, Arizona's Shawntinice Polk and Candice Wiggins of Stanford, have been named 2005-06 John R. Wooden Award preseason candidates.
The list is composed of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most coveted trophy.
Blue, a three-time All-Pac-10 honoree, led UCLA in scoring (17.0 ppg) and assists (6.0 apg) last season to garner AP and WBCA/Kodak All-American accolades. A Naismith Trophy midseason candidate, Blue also finished out her junior campaign second in the Conference in steals (3.37 spg) and fourth overall in scoring.
Despite having to sit out much of her All-American season with a knee injury last season, Quinn joins the Wooden ranks for the second year in a row. Prior to her injury, she was averaging a then-team-best 16.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.25 steals per game. Quinn earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors and was selected, along with teammates Blue and Lisa Willis, to compete in the USA Basketball National Team Trials this summer.
Polk, the league's leading active career scorer (1,467) and rebounder (914), is a three-time All-Pac-10 selection. Hampered with a knee injury much of last season, she still managed to finish third in the Conference in rebounding (8.0 rpg) and eighth in scoring (12.7 ppg).
After becoming the first freshman in Conference history to notch Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, Wiggins rounds out the top four preseason candidates. An AP and WBCA/Kodak All-American, as well as USBWA Co-National Freshman of the Year, she finished the 2004-05 season second in the Conference in scoring (17.5 ppg) and fourth in steals (2.43 spg).
These 30 candidates will be narrowed down to a Midseason Top-20 list and a National Ballot at the end of the season.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
2005-06 WOODEN AWARD PRESEASON
ALL-AMERICAN TEAM - TOP 30 CANDIDATES
Name - Height - Class - Position - School
Nikki Blue - 5'8' - Sr. - G - UCLA
Shawntinice Polk - 6'5' - Sr. - C - Arizona
Noelle Quinn - 6'0' - Jr. - G - UCLA
Candice Wiggins - 5'11' - So. - G - Stanford
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