ATLANTA — The Big East sits atop the 2011-12 Naismith Women’s early season watch list, with 12 players from six different universities being recognized, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.
The watch list includes the top women’s college basketball players from 35 schools, and was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012 college basketball season. The 2012 Naismith Trophy will be awarded at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Denver.
Three schools — Connecticut, Notre Dame and Tennessee — have three players apiece on the list, while eight schools have two each. The list represents 13 conferences and features mostly upperclassmen.
“With 15 players returning from last season’s watch list, including two of last year’s finalists, this year’s Naismith Women’s Player of the Year trophy is all about experience,” said Eric Oberman, Atlanta Tipoff Club executive director. “We’re excited for all of the action to unfold and to see who is left standing at the end of the season.”
In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists.
Notable Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year winners include Chamique Holdsclaw, Lisa Leslie, Rebecca Lobo, Tina Charles and last year’s winner, Maya Moore. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s player of the year.
|LaSondra Barrett||LSU||Sr.||F||Maggie Lucas||Penn State||So.||G|
|Alex Bentley||Penn State||Jr.||G||Kevi Luper||Oral Roberts||Jr.||G|
|Cierra Bravard||Florida State||Sr.||F||A’dia Mathies||Kentucky||Jr.||G|
|Brittany Carter||Memphis||Sr.||G||Natalie Novosel||Notre Dame||Sr.||G|
|Sydney Carter||Texas A&M||Sr.||G||Chiney Ogwumike||Stanford||So.||F|
|Carolyn Davis||Kansas||Jr.||F||Nnemkadi Ogwumike||Stanford||Sr.||F|
|Elena Delle Donne||Delaware||Jr.||F/G||Shey Peddy||Temple||Sr.||G|
|Skylar Diggins||Notre Dame||Jr.||G||Devereaux Peters||Notre Dame||Sr.||F|
|Stefanie Dolson||Connecticut||So.||C||Samantha Prahalis||Ohio State||Sr.||G|
|Aaryn Ellenberg||Oklahoma||So.||G||Jaime Printy||Iowa||Jr.||G|
|Shante Evans||Hofstra||Jr.||F||Justine Raterman||Dayton||Sr.||F|
|Casey Garrison||Missouri State||Sr.||G||Monique Reid||Louisville||Sr.||F|
|Jacki Gemelos||USC||Sr.||G||Sugar Rodgers||Georgetown||Jr.||G|
|Briana Gilbreath||USC||Sr.||G||Khadijah Rushdan||Rutgers||Sr.||G|
|Chelsea Gray||Duke||So.||G||Shoni Schimmel||Louisville||So.||G|
|Brittney Griner||Baylor||Jr.||P||Naama Shafir||Toledo||Sr.||G|
|Keisha Pampton||DePaul||Sr.||F||Meighan Simmons||Tennessee||So.||G|
|Whitney Hand||Oklahoma||Jr.||G||Odyssey Sims||Baylor||So.||G|
|Bria Hartley||Connecticut||So.||G||Kayla Standish||Gonzaga||Sr.||F|
|Tiffany Hayes||Connecticut||Sr.||G||Da’Shena Stevens||St. John’s||Sr.||F|
|Courtney Hurt||Va. Commonwealth||Sr.||F||Shekinna Stricklen||Tennessee||Sr.||G|
|Jasmine James||Georgia||So.||G||April Sykes||Rutgers||Sr.||G|
|Shenise Johnson||Miami (Fla.)||Sr.||F||Alyssa Thomas||Maryland||So.||F|
|Lykendra Johnson||Michigan State||Sr.||F||Tyra White||Texas A&M||Sr.||G|
|Glory Johnson||Tennessee||Sr.||F||Riquna Williams||Miami (Fla.)||Sr.||G|
• More: www.naismithawards.com