Three From Pac-10 Named Wooden Midseason Women's Candidates
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 10 list was announced today by the Los Angeles Athletics Club and three Pac-10 women's basketball players made the list of candidates. Among the top 20 listed were UCLA's Jasmine Dixon, and Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen.
The midseason list is comprised of 20 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the current frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight round. Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are eligible for this midseason list but did not appear on the preseason Top 30.
All players nationally who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for the official voting ballot released in March. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
The Pac-10 is tied for the second-most players selected to the watch list and Stanford is one of two teams with multiple players on the list. The ACC leads the way with four players, including two from North Carolina.
A junior forward, Jasmine Dixon (Long Beach, Calif.) has helped the Bruins get off to their best start in 30 years, heading into the weekend with a 13-1 overall mark and a No. 9 national ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. She leads the team in scoring (11.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg).
JR F Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Cypress, Texas) and SR F Kayla Pedersen (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) have been key elements in Stanford's return to the national top-five in terms of rankings, and in helping defeat the then-No. 1 team in the nation Connecticut in late December, snapping UConn's record-setting 90-game win streak. A member of last year's Wooden All-American team, Ogwumike leads the Cardinal in points (17.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg), and ranks in the top 25 in the nation with a 59.3 shooting percentage. Pedersen is third on the squad in scoring, averaging 11.5 ppg, and second behind Ogwumike in rebounding at 8.2 rpg. The Cardinal head into the weekend with a 12-2 overall mark.
The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, a special tribute to Coach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, given to Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo, will take place April 8, 2011.
For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, visit www.woodenaward.com.