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Saturday, February 1, 2003
Updated: March 16, 12:18 AM ET
Wade Watch: The top contenders

ESPN.com

They call it the Heisman Trophy of women's college basketball. In other words, it's the sport's highest honor.

And while 10 players are picked to the Kodak All-America team, and five are named Associated Press first-team All-Americans, only one player winds up with the Wade Trophy.

Named after Lily Margaret Wade, the award honors the best player in Division I women's basketball, and has been handed out since 1978. Known as "the mother of modern women's college basketball," Wade led Delta State to five AIAW state titles and three AIAW national championships, building an unprecedented dynasty that led to the growth and popularity of the sport during the 1970s. In 1985, Wade became the first women's college coach inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame.

Here's a look at the players we consider to be the leading candidates for this season's award (as of Feb. 24; list will be updated every Monday):

CHANTELLE ANDERSON, VANDERBILT
Chantelle Anderson
Anderson
Vitals: 6-6, senior, C, Vancouver, Wash. (Hudson Bay)
Credentials: Kodak All-American; Midwest Region MVP; as a sophomore, shot a nation-best/SEC-record 72.3 percent from field.
Last week: Hit 4 of 9 shots from field and went 2-for-2 at foul line for 10 points in 18 minutes in a win over Florida on Sunday.
STATS THROUGH FEB. 23
G FG REB AST BLK PTS
25 63.7 5.3 1.6 1.7 17.2

ALANA BEARD, DUKE
Alana Beard
Beard
Vitals: 5-11, junior, G/F, Shreveport, La. (Southwood)
Credentials: Kodak and AP first-team All-American; is first player in ACC men's/women's history to post more than 600 points, 200 rebounds, 150 assists, 100 steals and 20 blocks in a season.
Last week: Became the third player in ACC history to amass 300 steals, 500 rebounds, and 350 assists, and moved into 21st place on the ACC's all-time scoring list, in Monday's win over Maryland (18 points); scored 19 points and had four blocks and four assists in Thursday's rout of UNC.
STATS THROUGH FEB. 20
G FG REB AST STL PTS
26 55.3 7.0 3.3 3.0 22.9

KELLY MAZZANTE, PENN STATE
Kelly Mazzante
Mazzante
Vitals: 6-0, junior, G, Montoursville, Pa. (Montoursville)
Credentials: Kodak All-American; led nation in scoring (24.9 ppg) in 2002; broke Penn State/Big Ten single-season scoring records (872 pts); fastest player in Big Ten history to score 2,000 points.
Last week: Held to 11 points -- including just two in the first half -- on 5-for-11 shooting in Sunday's loss to Minnesota; hit 10 of 19 from field to score 23 points Thursday's rout of Michigan.
STATS THROUGH FEB. 24
G FG 3FG REB AST PTS
29 42.9 33.5 4.6 2.1 24.1

JOCELYN PENN, SOUTH CAROLINA
Jocelyn Penn
Penn
Vitals: 6-0, senior, F, Conyers, Ga. (Meadowcreek)
Credentials: South Carolina's career steals leader with 339 (needs 12 to break SEC record); one of only four Gamecocks to tally at least 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 200 steals; set USC's single-game scoring record with 51-point performance.
Last week: SEC's second-leading scorer had 21 points (9 of 14 from field) and 12 rebounds Sunday in one-point win over Auburn.

STATS THROUGH FEB. 23
G FG REB AST STL PTS
25 62.1 8.0 2.0 3.8 24.5

NICOLE POWELL, STANFORD
Nicole Powell
Powell
Vitals: 6-2, junior, F, Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Pointe)
Credentials: Kodak and AP second-team All-American; Pac-10 Player of the Year; has tallied six triple-doubles; owns Stanford's single-season (327) and single-game (21) rebounding records.
Last week: Earned Pac-10 player-of-the-week honors after averaging 23 points, 12.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and three steals in home wins over USC and UCLA that clinched team's third straight Pac-10 title; shot 50 percent from floor (18-36) and hit 5 of 9 3-point attempts; also notched 27th career double-double; Saturday's line: 24 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals.
STATS THROUGH FEB. 22
G FG REB AST STL PTS
16 50.2 9.5 3.6 1.8 18.3

DIANA TAURASI, UCONN
Diana Taurasi
Taurasi
Vitals: 6-0, junior, G/F, Chino, Calif. (Don Lugo)
Credentials: Kodak All-American; AP second-team All-American; only Big East freshman to earn MVP honors at conference tourney.
Last week: Sank only 1 of 5 3-point attempts and went 5-for-12 from field to tally 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and three turnovers in Sunday's win over Notre Dame; had 19 points (5 of 9 from field, 9 of 10 at line) and nine rebounds in win over Miami on Wednesday.
STATS THROUGH FEB. 23
G FG 3FG REB AST PTS
25 45.5 32.5 6.3 4.7 16.5

LATOYA THOMAS, MISSISSIPPI STATE
LaToya Thomas
Thomas
Vitals: 6-2, senior, F, Greenville, Miss. (Greenville)
Credentials: 2002 AP first-team All-American and three-time Kodak All-American; SEC scoring leader three straight seasons; entered senior season with 2,187 points in 94 games (23.3 career average).
Last week: SEC's leading scorer dropped in 35 against Arkansas and 37 vs. Mississippi and now has eight games of at least 30 points this season; moved into third place on SEC career scoring chart (2,828, passing Valerie Still) and 10th on the NCAA all-time career scoring list (passing Andrea Congreaves).
STATS THROUGH FEB. 23
G FG 3FG REB AST PTS
25 54.7 44.8 8.2 1.7 25.6

KENDRA WECKER, KANSAS STATE
Kendra Wecker
Wecker
Vitals: 5-11, sophomore, F, Marysville, Kan. (Marysville)
Credentials: Big 12 all-tournament team; broke the K-State freshman single-season rebounding record (264); among Big 12 freshmen, ranked first in scoring, rebounding and steals in 2001-02.
Last week: Tallied 16 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's win over Texas A&M; had 18 points in 10-point win over Missouri; shot just 34 percent (11-for-32) but dished out 12 assists.
STATS THROUGH FEB. 22
G FG 3FG REB AST PTS
27 47.5 38.0 8.4 3.7 19.6

LINDSAY WHALEN, MINNESOTA
Lindsay Whalen
Whalen
Vitals: 5-8, junior, G, Hutchinson, Minn. (Hutchinson )
Credentials: 2002 Big Ten Player of Year; AP third-team All-American; fastest player in Minnesota history to score 1,000 points (51 games); averaged 30 ppg in 2002 NCAA Tournament.
Last week: Had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists Sunday in mild upset over Big Ten-leader Penn State; tallied game-high 24 points and added nine assists in win over Illinois on Thursday.
STATS THROUGH FEB. 23
G FG REB AST STL PTS
25 57.7 5.0 6.3 2.0 21.3

SHEREKA WRIGHT, PURDUE
Shereka Wright
Wright
Vitals: 5-10, junior, F, Copperas Cove, Texas (Copperas Cove)
Credentials: Unanimous All-Big Ten first-team pick; owns Purdue's single-game scoring record with 40-point performance in February 2002; former Gatorade and USA Today national high school player of the year.
Last week: Hit 7 of 11 from field and 7 of 8 from foul line to score 22 points in losing effort to Ohio State on Sunday; scored 24 points, including eight in the decisive 2½ minutes, in Thursday's win over Michigan; had seven turnovers vs. Ohio State.
STATS THROUGH FEB. 23
G FG REB AST STL PTS
25 48.5 6.2 2.4 1.4 19.4

Past winners: 1978 - Carol Blazejowski, Montclair State; 1979 - Nancy Lieberman, Old Dominion; 1980 - Nancy Lieberman, Old Dominion; 1981 - Lynette Woodard, Kansas; 1982 - Pam Kelly, Louisiana Tech; 1983 - LaTaunya Pollard, Long Beach State; 1984 - Janice Lawrence, Louisiana Tech; 1985 - Cheryl Miller, USC; 1986 - Kamie Ethridge, Texas; 1987 - Shelly Pennefeather, Villanova; 1988 - Teresa Weatherspoon, Louisiana Tech; 1989 - Clarissa Davis, Texas; 1990 - Jennifer Azzi, Stanford; 1991 - Daedra Charles, Tennessee; 1992 - Susan Robinson, Penn State; 1993 - Karen Jennings, Nebraska; 1994 - Carol Ann Shudlick, Minnesota; 1995 - Rebecca Lobo, Connecticut; 1996 - Jennifer Rizzotti, Connecticut; 1997 - DeLisha Milton, Florida; 1998 - Ticha Penicheiro, Old Dominion; 1999 - Stephanie White-McCarthy, Purdue; 2000 - Edwina Brown, Texas; 2001 - Jackie Stiles, Southwest Missouri State; 2002 - Sue Bird, Connecticut.