LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced its John R. Wooden Award Women’s Midseason Top 20 today, comprised of 20 student-athletes who, based on individual performance and team records, are the front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious individual honor. The list is chosen by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board. This year’s midseason list contains 21 players, not the traditional 20, because Duke’s Chelsea Gray was voted to the list by the media based on her play so far this year, despite suffering a season-ending knee injury last week. The men’s list will be announced January 22nd on ESPN.
Two 2013 Wooden All American highlight the list: Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike and Baylor point guard Odyssey Sims. Sims is the nation’s top scorer, averaging 31.1 ppg (stats as of January 12), shooting 49.0% from the field and 83.1% from the line. Ogwumike is the Pac-12’s leading scorer, at 27.3 ppg (No. 3 nationally) and is No. 2 in the NCAA in rebounding at 11.8 rpg. Both players are among the nation’s best defenders at their positions as well. Ogwumike is a two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, while Sims is a two-time All-Big 12 Defensive Team pick.
Players not chosen to the midseason team are still eligible for the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top five players, will be announced the week of the Final Four.
Connecticut has placed four players on the list: Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, and Breanna Stewart. In addition to Connecticut, two other schools had multiple players chosen: Duke (Elizabeth Williams, Chelsea Gray); Notre Dame (Natalie Achonwa, Jewell Loyd, Kayla McBride). Loyd is the only player on the midseason list not on the preseason list; one of the nation’s top freshmen a year ago, she is averaging 17.1 ppg and has scored in double figures in every contest this season.
The ACC led all conferences with seven of the 21 selections, followed by The American with five; the Big 10 with three; the Pac-12 and Big 12 with two each; and Conference USA and the SEC with one apiece. Only one freshman was selected, North Carolina’s Diamond DeShields, who was named ACC Rookie of the Week this week on the strength of back-to-back 20-point outings.
The complete 2013-14 preseason Wooden watch list follows:
|2013-14 John R. Wooden Award®
Midseason Top 20 List, Women
|Natalie Achonwa||6-3||Sr.||F||Notre Dame||ACC|
|Rachel Banham||5-9||Jr.||G||Minnesota||Big Ten|
|Hallie Christofferson||6-3||Sr.||F||Iowa State||Big 12|
|Jerica Coley||5-8||Sr.||G||FIU||Conference USA|
|Diamond DeShields||6-1||Fr.||G||North Carolina||ACC|
|Stefanie Dolson||6-5||Sr.||C||UConn||The American|
|Bria Hartley||5-8||Sr.||G||UConn||The American|
|Jordan Hooper||6-2||Sr.||F||Nebraska||Big Ten|
|Jewell Loyd||5-10||So.||G||Notre Dame||ACC|
|Maggie Lucas||5-10||Sr.||G||Penn State||Big Ten|
|Kayla McBride||5-11||Sr.||G||Notre Dame||ACC|
|Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis||6-0||Jr.||F||UConn||The American|
|Shoni Schimmel||5-6||Jr.||G||Louisville||The American|
|Odyssey Sims#||5-8||Sr.||G||Baylor||Big 12|
|Breanna Stewart||6-4||So.||F||UConn||The American|
|(Based on a midseason poll. Players listed alphabetically.)|
|# indicates player chosen to the 2013 Wooden Award All-American Team|
|*Gray selected based on play prior to season-ending injury.|
Source:Los Angeles Athletic Club press release.