Thursday, March 30, 2006
Five team members now eligible for Wooden Award
ESPN.com news servies
LOS ANGELES -- LSU's Seimone Augustus, Duke's Monique Currie, North Carolina's Ivory Latta, Oklahoma's Courtney Paris and Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers have been named to the Wooden Women's All-American team.
The five finalists are now invited to Los Angeles for the 30th Annual Wooden Award Ceremony, where the Wooden Award will be presented to one of them as this season's top women's college basketball player. The event will air on CBS at 2 p.m. ET Saturday, April 8.
A panel of more than 200 voters comprised of sports media members and women's college basketball experts from around the nation voted on the five-member All-American team and Wooden Award recipient. In addition to on-court performance, voters were also asked to make their selections based on each candidate's character and academic performance, essential components of the Wooden Award. The deadline for final votes was March 27.
The 2006 All-American team consists of three seniors, one junior and one freshman. Four conferences are represented on the All-American squad, with the ACC leading the way with two players, followed by the Big 12, Big East and SEC, which each have one nominated player. Three All-Americans, including Augustus, Currie and Latta, have led their teams to this weekend's Final Four in Boston.
Augustus, last year's Women's Wooden Award recipient, leads the nation in scoring (23.0 ppg) while guiding LSU to a third consecutive trip to the Final Four. North Carolina's Latta ranks first on the Tar Heels in scoring (18.6 ppg) and assists (5.2 apg) and recently notched her place in ACC history by becoming just the 12th player to hit 200 career 3-pointers.
Returning Wooden Award All-American Currie has put up big numbers (16.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 spg) while helping to vault the Blue Devils to a 30-3 record and a Final Four appearance. Freshman Paris had one of the best seasons in NCAA history en route to leading Oklahoma to a perfect 16-0 Big 12 conference season. Paris finished the season leading the nation in rebounding (15.0 rpg) while becoming the first player in NCAA history to record 700 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks in one season.
Not to be outdone, Pondexter was among the nation's leading scorers (21.5 ppg) while being named Big East Player of the Year. Additionally, the senior guard led Rutgers to a perfect 16-0 conference record and a trip to the Sweet 16.