ATLANTA ?- Arizona’s Dee-Dee Wheeler and Shawntinice Polk are among 50 of the country’s top collegiate women’s basketball players who were named as preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless today. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the men’s and women’s players of the year.
The Top 50 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its preseason criteria on player performances from last season.
"The women’s preseason candidates represent the very best in college basketball," Gary Stokan, Atlanta Sports Council president said. "It will be a privilege to add any of these players to the list of distinguished Naismith Trophy winners."
In January, the Board of Selectors will narrow its preseason list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March.
This is the third such honor for Polk and the second for Wheeler. Polk has also been named to the Wooden Award and Wade Trophy watch lists, while Wheeler is a Wade Trophy candidate.
The 2004 Wildcats open the 2004 season this Friday, Nov. 12, with a 7 p.m. game against Saint Mary’s in the first round of the Sportsview.tv Preseason WNIT.
The preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy, listed in alphabetical order, are listed below.
Player Ht. Yr. Pos. School
Seimone Augustus 6-1 Jr. G LSU
Sherrill Baker 5-8 Jr. G Georgia
Jacqueline Batteast 6-2 Sr. F Notre Dame
Stephanie Blackmon 6-2 Sr. F Baylor
Nikki Blue 5-8 Jr. G UCLA
Natasha Brackett 5-9 Sr. G Auburn
Jamie Carey 5-6 Sr. G Texas
Monique Currie 6-0 Jr. G Duke
Jessica Deveney 5-9 Sr. G Boston College
Shay Doron 5-9 So. G Maryland
Shyra Ely 6-2 Sr. F Tennessee
Emily Faurholt 5-11 Jr. F Idaho State
Katie Feenstra 6-8 Sr. C Liberty
Katie Gearlds 6-1 So. G Purdue
Erin Grant 5-8 Jr. G Texas Tech
Sandora Irvin 6-3 Sr. F TCU
Dionnah Jackson 5-9 Sr. G Oklahoma
Tiffany Jackson 6-3 So. F Texas
Tamara James 5-9 Jr. G/F Miami
Temeka Johnson 5-3 Sr. G LSU
Alexis Kendrick 5-7 Jr. G Georgia
Laurie Koehn 5-8 Sr. G Kansas State
Cathrine Kraayeveld 6-4 Sr. F Oregon
Ivory Latta 5-6 So. G North Carolina
Camille Little 6-1 So. G/F North Carolina
Sancho Lyttle 6-4 Sr. C/F Houston
Kristen Mann 6-2 Sr. F UC Santa Barbara
Janel McCarville 6-2 Sr. F Minnesota
Jessica Moore 6-3 Sr. C/F Connecticut
Loree Moore 5-9 Sr. G Tennessee
Bernice Mosby 6-1 Jr. F Florida
Chelsea Newton 5-11 Sr. G Rutgers
Shawntinice Polk 6-5 Jr. C Arizona
Cappie Pondexter 5-9 Sr. G Rutgers
Noelle Quinn 6-0 So. G UCLA
Kathrin Ress 6-4 So. F Boston College
Alesha Robertson 6-0 So. F Texas Tech
Heather Schreiber 6-2 Sr. F Texas
Khara Smith 6-2 Jr. F DePaul
Kim Smith 6-1 So. F Utah
Ann Strother 6-2 Jr. G Connecticut
Kelley Suminski 5-9 Sr. G Stanford
Carla Thomas 6-3 So. F Vanderbilt
Barbara Turner 6-0 Jr. G/F Connecticut
Kendra Wecker 5-11 Sr. F Kansas State
Dee-Dee Wheeler 5-6 Sr. G Arizona
Tan White 5-8 Sr. G Mississippi State
Tanisha Wright 5-11 Sr. G Penn State
Sophia Young 6-1 Jr. F Baylor
Shanna Zolman 5-10 Jr. G Tennessee