Four Pac-10 Women's Players on WBCA's Preseason Wade Watch

Aug. 3, 2009

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Four Pac-10 players were named to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's State Farm Wade Trophy Preseason list, which the WBCA released today. Three hail from Stanford, who made its second-straight trip to the NCAA Final Four in 2009. The Wade Trophy is presented to the nation's top collegiate women's basketball player at the end of the season.

California senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson (Oakland, Calif.) was among the 25 preseason candidates listed on the preseason Wade Watch, as well as the Stanford trio of senior Jayne Appel (Pleasant Hill, Calif.), junior Kayla Pedersen (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) and senior Jeanette Pohlen (Brea, Calif.).

Lawson has big shoes to fill with the losses of Golden Bear greats Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton to graduation. Lawson earned her first-ever first team All-Pac-10 honors last season, helping Cal advance to the program's first-ever NCAA Sweet Sixteen. California finished second in the Pac-10 in 2008-09 with a 15-3 record, posted a 26-7 overall record and was ranked in the top five in the nation for the first time ever.

The third-straight year she has been named to the preseason Wade Watch, Appel is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, also earning All-America honors by the WBCA, Associated Press and United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). She led the Conference with a 60.2 shooting percentage and had a league-high 70 blocks. She also finished second in scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounding (9.2 rpg). The Cardinal were first in the Conference, boasting a 17-1 league record and 33-5 overall.

Pedersen makes the list for the second-consecutive year after coming off a 2008-09 campaign where she was a third team All-Pac-10 pick, averaging 10.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg. A 2008 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, she was voted the Pac-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2009, leading the Cardinal to its third-straight tournament title.

Making her first-career appearance on the Wade Watch, Pohlen earned a spot on the 2009 All-Pac-10 second team. She made a Pac-10 best 83 threes last year, coming in second with a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio. Helping Stanford reach the NCAA Final Four, she was named to the NCAA All-Berkeley Regional team.

All three candidates were members of the USA World University team that went 7-0 and won a gold medal in Belgrade, Serbia.

The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 33rd 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. This highly prestigious award, regarded as the 'Heisman of Women's Basketball,' is organized by the WBCA, in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).

The 2010 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced at the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four, in San Antonio, Texas, April 2-6.

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