Feb. 5, 2007

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – After an exciting first half of the women’s college basketball season, the John R. Wooden Award Committee today announced the Midseason All-American Team for the Women’s Wooden Award (see attached). The midseason list includes the top 20 players to this point in the season who will contend for this year’s player of the year award. This list is based on individual player performance and team records through the first half of the season.

Highlighting the list of midseason candidates are centers Courtney Paris (Oklahoma) and Sylvia Fowles (LSU). Paris’ incredible season has led the Sooners to an outstanding 18-3 record. She leads the Big 12 Conference in both scoring (22.0 ppg) and rebounding (15.7 rpg). Paris posted what is arguably the best performance in the nation so far this season when she netted 43 points on 20 of 26 shooting and collected 25 rebounds in a late December victory over New Mexico. The LSU Tigers were left with a void this season after the departure of back-to-back Wooden Award winner, Seimone Augustus. Junior center Sylvia Fowles is just the player the Tigers needed to fill the hole left by Augustus. Fowles is having a monster season leading LSU to a 21-3 record including 12-0 at home in the Maravich Center. To this point Fowles leads the SEC in rebounding (11.5 rpg) while also putting up 17.3 ppg.

Also included on the list are the dynamic duo of Lindsey Harding and Abby Waner of Duke. Harding and Waner are having outstanding seasons as they lead the #1 ranked Blue Devils. Duke rival North Carolina led by Erlana Larkins and Ivory Latta is the only other undefeated team in the country, currently posting a record of 24-0. Another primetime performer throughout the first half of the season is Angel McCoughtry (Louisville) who has dominated the Big East leading the conference in both scoring (21.4 ppg) and rebounding (11.5 rpg).

“With such an exciting year filled with outstanding performances it’s a tough chore to narrow the list to 20 players,” said Mike Solum, director of the John R. Wooden Award. “The level of play has gone to new heights and we’re excited to watch what the second half has in store. We’re looking forward to seeing which of these players continue to elevate their games as we determine the nation’s elite candidates.” Seven NCAA conferences are represented on the list, including the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Pac-10, SEC, and Sun Belt. The best represented conferences include the ACC with six candidates and the SEC which has four candidates. Three schools have multiple players nominated; they are Maryland (Marissa Coleman and Crystal Langhorne), Duke (Harding and Waner) and North Carolina (Larkins and Latta).

Further, five newcomers have been selected to the midseason list that were not included on the preseason top 30. This group includes Katie Gearlds (Purdue), Chrissy Givens (Middle Tennessee), Angel McCoughtry (Louisville), Bernice Mosby (Baylor) and Waner (Duke).

Players who do not make the midseason list are still eligible for consideration for the Wooden Award. In March, the Committee will cut the list down to an official voting ballot consisting of approximately 15 players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Over 200 voters, comprised of sports media members and women’s college basketball experts across the nation, will then cast their votes for the five-member All-American team and Wooden Award honor as the most outstanding female collegiate basketball player in the nation.

The 2007 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams, and the Legends of Coaching Award to recipient Gene Keady of Purdue University, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 7, 2007. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony and will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university’s general scholarship fund.

About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Andrew Bogut (’05), and last year’s recipients, Seimone Augustus (’06) and J.J. Redick.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All-American recipients as well as sent over 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All-American selections, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on the Friday prior to the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.

Women’s Wooden Award Midseason
All-American Team – Top 20 Candidates
(Players listed alphabetically)

*Indicates player was a 2005-2006 Wooden Award All-American

Marissa Coleman 6’1″ So. G/F Maryland
Jessica Davenport 6’5″ Sr. C Ohio State
Jessica Dickson 5’11” Sr. F South Florida
Sylvia Fowles 6’6″ Jr. C LSU
Katie Gearlds 6’1″ Sr. G/F Purdue
Chrissy Givens 5’11” Sr. G Middle Tennessee
Lindsey Harding 5’8″ Sr. G Duke
Tasha Humphrey 6’3″ Jr. F Georgia
Tiffany Jackson 6’3″ Sr. F Texas
Crystal Kelly 6’3″ Jr. F Western Kentucky
Crystal Langhorne 6’2″ Jr. C/F Maryland
Erlana Larkins 6’1″ Jr. F North Carolina
Ivory Latta* 5’6″ Sr. G North Carolina
Angel McCoughtry 6’1″ So. F Louisville
Bernice Mosby 6’1″ Sr. F Baylor
Courtney Paris* 6’4″ So. C Oklahoma
Candace Parker 6’4″ So. F/C/G Tennessee
Armintie Price 5’9″ Sr. G Mississippi
Abby Waner 5’10” So. G Duke
Candice Wiggins 5’11” Jr. G Stanford