Jackson and Carey among top candidates for Naismith Trophy
ATLANTA -- University of Texas All-America candidates 5-6 senior guard Jamie Carey (Thornton, Colo./Horizon HS) and 6-3 sophomore forward Tiffany Jackson (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville HS) were named as mid-season finalists for the 2005 Naismith Award (National Player of the Year honor). Thirty of the country's top collegiate women's basketball players were named as mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday.
Jackson is one of only six underclassmen on the Naismith ballot. She leads the 17-7 Longhorns in scoring (17.6 ppg), rebounding (8.7 rpg), blocks (50, 2.1 bpg) and steals (71, 2.96 spg) and is one of only two Big 12 players to rank in the top 10 in league scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. In Big 12 games, Jackson is averaging 19.6 ppg (third in the league), 9.2 rpg (fourth in the league) and is shooting .560 from the field (fourth-best). She also is first in Big 12 steals (35, 2.7 spg), tied for second in blocks (25, 1.92 bpg) and 14th in free throw percentage (49-67, .731).
Carey is second in Texas scoring (12.1 ppg) and leads the club in 3-point shooting, hitting 46.3 percent of her treys (56-121). She also is first in minutes played (33.3 mpg) and second in assists (54, 2.3 apg), steals (38, 1.6 spg) and free throw percentage (35-43, .817). In Big 12 game stats, Carey stands sixth in league 3-point percentage (.424, 28-66).
The Top 30 Naismith 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.
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.
Carey, Jackson and 6-2 senior forward Heather Schreiber (Windthorst, Texas/Windthorst HS) also are on the ballots for the State Farm Wade Trophy National Player of the Year award.
"These women represent the best college players in the nation," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "The Atlanta Tipoff Club looks forward to seeing which player distinguishes themselves among all others to raise the Naismith Trophy in April."
As part of its involvement, Cingular is making this year's selection process unique. For the first time, college basketball fans have a voice in deciding who wins the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless through the power and ease of wireless text messaging.
"Each of these candidates for player of the year is an exceptional talent and would make an outstanding ambassador for the Naismith Trophy," said Marc Lefar, chief marketing officer for Cingular. "Cingular is proud to give women's college basketball fans a voice in the voting process."
Last year's Naismith Trophy recipient was the University of Connecticut's guard Diana Taurasi. For more information, visit NaismithAwards.com.
Naismith Trophy National Player of the Year Mid-Season Candidates (presented by Cingular Wireless)