Tiffany Jackson on final ballot for Wooden Award
LOS ANGELES -- The John R. Wooden Award Committee on Tuesday announced the 17 finalists on the official voting ballot for the 2005 Women's Wooden Award, and University of Texas 6-3 sophomore forward Tiffany Jackson (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville HS) is one of the finalist for the National Player of the Year award.
The Women's Wooden Award, presented annually to the nation's top female collegiate basketball player, will announce its 2005 recipient on Saturday, April 9 during a national CBS telecast airing live at 1 p.m. EST from The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Wooden Award is presented by Applied Materials
In total, nine seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and one freshman are represented on the ballot. Jackson, who leads the 20-7 and No. 11 ranked Longhorns in scoring (17.6 ppg), rebounding (8.7 rpg), blocks (55, 2.5 bpg) and steals (83, 3.1 spg), is one of only three underclassmen finalists for the Wooden Award. Jackson was chosen to the All-Big 12 First Team last week. She leads the No. 2 seeded Longhorns into the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 9; UT will face the winner of Tuesday's first-round game between No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 10 Texas A&M.
This is the second year for the Women's Wooden Award, with Duke's Alana Beard earning the honor in 2004. Seven NCAA conferences are represented on the Wooden Award ballot, including the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Conference USA, Pac-10, and the SEC. The best represented conferences include the Big 10 and Big 12 with four candidates each, and the SEC, which has three players nominated. Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers is the only candidate on the national ballot who was not a Wooden Award Midseason nominee.
"We never imagined the selection process would be so difficult this year, which is testimony to the wealth of talent that exists in women's college basketball," said Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, founder and chairman of the Wooden Award. "The Wooden Award National Advisory Board feels that these 17 players are the most deserving for consideration, and we applaud each of them for their outstanding effort both on and off the court."
In order to be considered for the national ballot, all players must have been accredited by their university as meeting the Wooden Award criteria which includes making normal progress towards graduation and maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. It should be noted that all players considered for the national ballot, including those on the midseason list, were deemed eligible as meeting the Wooden Award academic requirements.
A panel of over 200 voters comprised of sports media members and women's college basketball experts from around the nation will cast their votes for both the five-member All-American Team and Wooden Award recipient as the most outstanding female collegiate basketball player in the United States. The Wooden Award has a March 28 deadline to allow voters to evaluate players up until the NCAA Championship Elite Eight has been determined.
The 2005 award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams, and Legends of Coaching award recipient (Connecticut men's coach Jim Calhoun), will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 9, 2005, and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony and will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund for their university's general scholarship fund.
The Wooden Award Scholarship Fund was established in 2002 by Applied Materials and corporate partners through the California Community Foundation (CCF) to honor Coach Wooden's dedication as an educator and mentor. The Scholarship Fund distributed $15,000 last year to each university represented by a men's and women's Wooden Award All-American Team finalist (for a total of $150,000). Additional donations to Applied Materials' John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund can be made by contacting the scholarship fund through the CCF (CalFund.org).
For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, visit WoodenAward.com.
2005 Women's Wooden Award Ballot for National Player of the Year (Players listed alphabetically)
* - A national poll was conducted by the John R. Wooden Women's Award National Advisory Board to determine the ballot for the 2004-2005 Wooden Award All-American Team. The top 17 candidates have been selected based on this year's individual performance and team records.