Blue, Polk and Wiggins Named 2005-06 Wade Trophy Candidates

Aug. 17, 2005

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Three Pac-10 players, including UCLA's Nikki Blue, Arizona's Shawntinice Polk and Candice Wiggins of Stanford, have been named 2005-06 State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year preseason candidates, the awards committee announced today.

The list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are members of an NCAA Division I institution and are selected based on the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.

Both Blue and Polk are two of 11 participants who were nominated for the renowned 'Wade Watch' last season, as well.

'The 2005-06 State Farm Wade Trophy preseason list is an example of the top-notch athletes that contribute to making each collegiate basketball game an exciting, new experience,' said Jeanne Lenti Ponsetto, Chair of the committee and Athletic Director at DePaul University.

A three-time All-Pac-10 honoree, Blue 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.

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 three 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).

The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 28th year and named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball.

The Wade Trophy winner will be announced during the WBCA National Convention, in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four in Boston, Mass., March 31-April 4, 2006.

2005-06 STATE FARM WADE TROPHY DIVISION I PLAYER OF THE YEARPRESEASON CANDIDATES

Name - Height - Class - Position - School

Nikki Blue - 5'8' - Sr. - G - UCLA

Shawntinice Polk - 6'5' - Sr. - C - Arizona

Candice Wiggins 5'11' - So. - G - Stanford

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