Pac-10 Honors Wiggins As Player of Year, VanDerveer As Coach of the Year
March 2, 2006
Walnut Creek, Calif. - No. 13/14 Stanford received a multitude of honors today, as the league's 10 head coaches voted and chose sophomore guard Candice Wiggins as the 2005-06 Pacific-10 Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year and Tara VanDerveer as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Junior center Brooke Smith was selected to the All-Pac-10 team. Forward Jillian Harmon was picked for the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, while Rosalyn Gold-Onwude was an honorable mention selection for the All-Freshman team.
Wiggins is just the sixth player to receive two Pac-10 Player of the Year awards, and the fifth to receive the honor in consecutive seasons. Named to the 2005-06 Midseason Lists for the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award, Wiggins was a Kodak All-American last season and the first freshman in the Conference to receive the Player of the Year award. She is currently leading Stanford with 21.7 points per game, a mark that ranks third in the nation and is a new school record for single-season average. Wiggins leads the Conference in scoring, free throw percentage (.828) and three-point field-goal percentage (.463). Her 1,198 career points put her 20th on Stanford's all-time list. She has passed the 30-point plateau four times this season, most in the league. She has connected on seven three-pointers in two different games this season (Jan. 14 vs. Cal and Feb. 23 vs. Washington), which ties for the fourth-most treys made in a game by a Cardinal.
VanDerveer, an eight-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year and three-time NCAA Coach of the Year, entered the 2005-06 season with the third highest career winning percentage among active Division I coaches. She has led the Cardinal to two NCAA Championships, five NCAA Final Four appearances, 14 Pac-10 Conference titles and 17 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Cardinal advanced to the Elite Eight for the ninth time under VanDerveer's tutelage. Inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, VanDerveer has led the Cardinal to six-straight Pac-10 titles and the 2003, 2004 and 2005 Pac-10 Tournament titles. VanDerveer became the ninth Divison-I coach to reach the 650-win milestone on Feb. 4 with an 87-54 victory over Oregon State. Two games later at Cal on Feb. 11, she won her 500th as the Stanford head coach. In her 20th year at Stanford, her record is 503-126 (.800) and her overall record stands at 655-177 (.787). VanDerveer's teams have compiled a 272-29 (.904) record at home during her tenure, and are 169-11 all-time against Pac-10 foes at home. No member of the current Stanford team has lost a Conference game in Maples Pavilion.
Smith is a two-time All-Conference selection, and is the Cardinal's second-leading scorer with 16.9 points per game, while leading the team in rebounding with 7.3 boards per game. She is averaging 14.8 points per game in her career, which is sixth-best in Stanford history. Smith also ranks second in the Conference in field goal percentage at .575, which ranks 18th-best in the nation.
Harmon is the 21st Cardinal to claim All-Freshman honors, and third consecutive. She ranks seventh in the Conference in field goal percentage at .498, and has started 19 games for the Cardinal this season.
Stanford will look to defend its three-straight Pac-10 Tournament titles this weekend in San Jose. The Cardinal will play the winner of the Oregon-Arizona contest on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Nikki Blue** (UCLA)
Devanei Hampton (California)
Cameo Hicks (Washington)
Kristen Kovesdy (Arizona State)
Eshaya Murphy (USC)
Noelle Quinn* (UCLA)
Brooke Smith* (Stanford)
Emily Westerberg* (Arizona State)
Candice Wiggins* (Arizona State)
Lisa Willis* (UCLA)
*two-time All-Pac-10 honoree; **four-time All-Pac-10 honoree
HONORABLE MENTION (Received votes): Kate Benz (WSU, Jr., F); Kim Butler (OSU, Sr., F); Meghan Gnekow (USC, Sr., G); Alexis Gray-Lawson (CAL, Fr., G); Natalie Jones (ARIZ, Sr., G); Camille LeNoir (USC, So., G); Chelsea Wagner (ORE, Sr., G).
PAC-10 ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Alexis Gray-Lawson (California)
Devanei Hampton (California)
Jillian Harmon (Stanford)
Briann January (Arizona State)
Ashley Walker (California)
HONORABLE MENTION: Amanda DuRocher (WSU, G); Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (STAN, G); Jene Morris (CAL, G); Tamika Nurse (ORE, G); Danielle Orsillo (ASU, G).