Longhorns only team with three nominees

ATLANTA -- Three Texas players were among the 30 women named preseason candidates for the Naismith national player of the year award on Wednesday.

Senior post Stacy Stephens, senior point guard Jamie Carey and 6-2 junior forward Heather Schreiber were included, making No. 3 Texas the only school to have three players nominated.

Other candidates included Diana Taurasi and Ann Strother of top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Connecticut, Alana Beard and Iciss Tillis of No. 2 Duke, Shyra Ely and Loree Moore of No. 4 Tennessee and Nicole Ohlde and Kendra Wecker of fifth-ranked Kansas State.

The Naismith Awards program, now in its 36th year, honors the outstanding college basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball.

The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists, and basketball analysts. Members of the board were asked to name top male and female players who are most likely to be in contention for the award.

A look at the 2003-04 preseason Naismith candidates (listed alphabetically):

Seimone Augustus, 6-1 So. G, LSU
Jacqueline Batteast, 6-2 Jr. F, Notre Dame
Alana Beard, 5-11 Jr. G/F, Duke
Jenni Benningfield, 6-3 Jr. F, Vanderbilt
Tera Bjorklund, 6-5 Jr. C, Colorado
Rebekkah Brunson, 6-3 Sr. F, Georgetown
Jamie Carey, 5-6 Sr. G, Texas
Shameka Christon, 6-1 Sr. F, Arkansas
Shyra Ely, 6-2 Jr. F, Tennessee
Trina Frierson, 6-2 Sr. F, Louisiana Tech
Ebony Hoffman, 6-2 Sr., USC
Temeka Johnson, 5-3 Sr. G, LSU
Chandi Jones, 5-10 Sr. F/G, Houston
Kelly Mazzante, 6-0 Sr. G, Penn State
Loree Moore, 5-9 Jr. G, Tennessee
Nicole Ohlde, 6-4 Sr. C, Kansas State
Jia Perkins, 5-8 Sr. G, Texas Tech
Cappie Pondexter, 5-9 Jr. G, Rutgers
Nicole Powell, 6-2 Sr. G, Stanford
Heather Schreiber, 6-2 Jr. F, Texas
Stacy Stephens, 6-1 Sr. C, Texas
Ann Strother, 6-2 So. G, Connecticut
Diana Taurasi, 6-0 Sr. G/F, Connecticut
Christi Thomas, 6-5 Sr. F/C, Georgia
Iciss Tillis, 6-4 Sr. F, Duke
Kendra Wecker, 5-11 Sr. F, Kansas State
Lindsay Whalen, 5-8 Sr. G, Minnesota
Tan White, 5-8 Jr. G, Mississippi State
Shereka Wright, 5-10 Sr. F, Purdue
Tanisha Wright, 5-11 Jr. G, Penn State