Four Pac-10 Make Naismith Midseason Cut
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Four Pac-10 women's basketball players have moved on to the Naismith Trophy midseason candidate list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. The list, which consists of 30 of the nation's top candidates, includes UCLA's Jasmine Dixon and Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen.
The midseason 30-player list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the 2010-11 college basketball season. The Naismith Trophy, presented by AT&T, will be awarded on April 4, 2011 at the NCAA Women's Final Four in Indianapolis.
All four players have led their respective teams to top-10 national rankings and 20+ victories. Ninth-ranked UCLA is off to its best start in the program's history, boasting a 21-2 overall record and 11-1 Pac-10 mark, also a team best in Conference play. JR F Jasmine Dixon (Long Beach, Calif.) has been the Bruins' go-to player, averaging 12.5 points, and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game, also shooting 54.4 percent from the floor, tops on the squad.
The Cardinal trio have been its steadiest producers all season. All three have been named Pac-10 Players of the Week at some point during this campaign as the third-ranked Stanford heads into the weekend undefeated in Conference action with a 13-0 record and 22-2 overall. JR F Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Cypress, Texas) leads the team, averaging 16.6 ppg and 7.9 rpg, also boasting one of the best shooting percentages in the nation at 58.4 percent. SR F Kayla Pedersen (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) is tied with Ogwumike for the team's rebounding leader and is contributing 12.6 ppg. SR G Jeanette Pohlen (Brea, Calif.) is the team's second-leading scorer at 15.8 ppg and is knocking down 43 percent of her three-point shots, while dishing out 4.9 assists per game.
Since 2005, presenting sponsor AT&T has set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining the trophy winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for 25 percent of all of the final results - more than any other national college basketball award.
Notable Naismith Women's College Player of the Year winners include Chamique Holdsclaw, Lisa Leslie, Rebecca Lobo, Maya Moore and last year's winner Tina Charles. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's player of the year.