Jackson named Naismith Trophy National Player of the Year mid-season candidate
ATLANTA -- Texas 6-3 junior forward Tiffany Jackson is one of 30 of the country's top collegiate women's basketball players named as mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy National Player of the Year, presented by Cingular Wireless. The announcement was made by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The Naismith Trophy is awarded annually to the top men's and women's players of the year.
This is the second year in a row that Jackson (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville HS) has been a mid-season Naismith Trophy honoree.
The Top 30 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season. The list was narrowed down from the pre-season list of 50 candidates who were announced at the beginning of the season.
Candidates include four players from the Big 12 Conference - Jackson, senior forward Sophia Young (Baylor), freshman post Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), and senior point guard Erin Grant (Texas Tech).
"This is the time of year when the elite players begin to show they deserve to be considered," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "When we reach the tournament, there is sure to be a very talented group of student-athletes vying for the Naismith Trophy."
Jackson leads the Longhorns with team-highs of 14.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game. Jackson averages just under a double-double in Big 12 league play (14.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg) and has led the conference in steals with 3.0 per game.
Cingular Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, will again give fans an influential voice in selecting this year's winner. Fan voting, through the power and ease of text messaging, will account for 25% of the selection process once the four finalists are announced. This program sets the standard for integrating fans into the voting process and providing them with more input than with any other major collegiate sports award
These players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March when four finalists for the Naismith Trophy are announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors.
Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient was LSU guard Seimone Augustus. Other notable women's college player of the year winners include Cheryl Miller, Rebecca Lobo, Sheryl Swoopes, Chamique Holdsclaw and Dawn Staley.