Aug. 20, 2009
Senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson was announced as a preseason candidate for the Women's Wooden Award. Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, John R. Wooden Award Chairman and founder, announced a list comprised of 31 student athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the front runners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
The list contains 31 players, not the traditional 30, because the playing status of North Carolina's Jessica Breland is uncertain due to a possible medical redshirt year. Transfers, freshmen and 2009 medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for December's midseason list and the official ballot released in March.
The breadth of talent across the country is shown by the record number of NCAA Division I conferences (12) highlighted on the list. The Big 10 conference has five candidates, followed by the Big East, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-10 with four apiece, the SEC (3), West Coast (2), America East (1), Atlantic 10 (1), CAA (1), Mountain West (1) and Sun Belt (1).
In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Women's Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round during the NCAA Tournament.
The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.
2009-10 John R. Wooden Award® Women's Preseason Top 30 List
Jayne Appel (Stanford), Erica Beverly (Hartford), Angie Bjorklund (Tennessee), Heather Bowman (Gonzaga), Jessica Breland (North Carolina), Tina Charles (Connecticut), Alysha Clark (Middle Tennessee), Allyssa DeHaan (Michigan State), Tyra Grant (Penn State), Alexis Gray-Lawson (California), Allison Hightower (Louisiana State), Ashley Houts (Georgia), Ify Ibekwe (Arizona), Jantel Lavender (Ohio State), Gabriela Marginean (Drexel), Danielle McCray (Kansas), Nicole Michael (Syracuse), Jacinta Monroe (Florida State), Maya Moore (Connecticut), Jene Morris (San Diego State), Dierdre Naughton (DePaul), Ta`Shia Phillips (Xavier), Jeanette Pohlen (Stanford), Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State), Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma), Jenna Smith (Illinois), Ashley Sweat (Kansas State), Carolyn Swords (Boston College), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga), Monica Wright (Virginia)