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Polk, Wheeler Named to Wade Trophy Watch List
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/10/2004
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona women’s basketball players Shawntinice Polk and Dee-Dee Wheeler are two of 31 preseason candidates for the 2004-05 State Farm Wade Trophy, given to the Division I Player of the Year. Arizona was one of seven schools with two or more players on the prestigious list.

A 6-5 junior, Polk is a two-time honorable mention All-American and All-Pacific-10 pick. In just two seasons she has become Arizona’s all-time leading shot blocker and ranks first in rebounding average, third in scoring average, fourth in total rebounds and 10th in points. She has also been named to the Wooden Award watch list.

Wheeler, a senior from Chicago, is a two-time first team All-Pac-10 selection and last season was a Nancy Lieberman Award candidate for Point Guard of the Year. Wheeler has 78 career double-digit scoring performances, with an active streak of 33. She has started 87 of her career’s 92 games, including a string of 62 straight.

Heading into her senior season, Wheeler ranks second on the UA career list in minutes played average (32.2 mpg), third in total points (1,402), field goals made (546) and field goals attempted (1,185), fourth in three-point field goals made (134), three-point field goals attempted (373), three-point percentage (.359), scoring average (15.2 ppg) and steals (214), sixth in games started (87), tied for eighth in free throw percentage (.739), ninth in minutes played (2,960) and 10th in assists (332). She needs 218 more points to move into the No. 2 spot (1,620) on the all-time scoring chart.

The candidates were selected by a vote of the national awards committee, which is comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists, and basketball administrators. Players are selected based on game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.

"The 2004-05 State Farm Wade Trophy preseason list is an example of how dynamic and exciting the game of women’s college basketball has become," said Jeanne Lenti-Ponsetto, Chair of the State Farm Wade Trophy Committee and Athletic Director at DePaul. "These 31 student-athletes represent the best and brightest and we look forward to an outstanding year of college women’s basketball."

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

This most prestigious award, regarded as "The Heisman of women’s basketball," is organized by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).

The 2005 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced during the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind., April 2-5, 2005.

The preseason candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Name                  Institution           Yr.
Seimone Augustus      Louisiana State       Jr.
Jacqueline Batteast   Notre Dame            Sr.
Steffanie Blackmon    Baylor                Sr.
Nikki Blue            UCLA                  Jr.
Jamie Carey           Texas                 Sr.
Monique Currie        Duke                  Jr.
Shyra Ely             Tennessee             Sr.
Katie Feenstra        Liberty               Sr.
Sandora Irvin         Texas Christian       Sr.
Dionnah Jackson       Oklahoma              Sr.
Tiffany Jackson       Texas                 So.
Temeka Johnson        Louisiana State       Sr.
Ivory Latta           North Carolina        So.
Camille Little        North Carolina        So.
Sancho Lyttle         Houston               Sr.
Kristen Mann          UC Santa Barbara      Sr.
Janel McCarville      Minnesota             Sr.
Jessica Moore         Connecticut           Sr.
Shawntinice Polk      Arizona               Jr.
Cappie Pondexter      Rutgers               Sr.
Noelle Quinn          UCLA                  So.
Heather Schreiber     Texas                 Sr.
Khara Smith           DePaul                Jr.
Kim Smith             Utah                  Jr.
Ann Strother          Connecticut           Jr.
Barbara Turner        Connecticut           Jr.
Kendra Wecker         Kansas State          Sr.
Dee-Dee Wheeler       Arizona               Sr.
Tan White             Mississippi State     Sr.
Tanisha Wright        Penn State            Sr.
Sophia Young          Baylor                Jr.
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