Jackson named Wooden Award candidate
LOS ANGELES -- The John R. Wooden Award announced Thursday the top 30 preseason candidates for the 2006-07 Women's Wooden Award as National Player of the Year. The list is composed of 30 student athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most coveted trophy, and this list includes University of Texas 6-3 senior forward Tiffany Jackson.
These top 30 candidates are comprised of returning players, although transfers, freshmen, medical redshirts and other players who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for both the Midseason Top 20 list and the final National Ballot. The preseason candidates were determined after tallying the ballots of the Wooden Award's National Advisory Board.
"Over 60 players from across the country received at least one vote for the preseason list, which points to the parity in the women's game today," said Mike Solum, director of the Wooden Award. "This list represents the elite of college basketball, and our entire team at the Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation prove their case as basketball's player of the year."
Jackson also is a preseason candidate for the State Farm Margaret Wade Trophy and was a unanimous Preaseason All-Big 12 First Team choice.. Jackson is one of two seniors on head coach Jody Conradt's Longhorns squad and is the top returnee. She averaged 14.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and collected 64 steals (2.6 spg) to go with 36 blocks (1.44 bpg) last year in 25 games, missing three contests with an ankle injury. She claimed Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention and Kodak All-America Honorable Mention honors at season's end.
In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the official voting ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The 2007 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 7, 2007. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the Awards ceremony and will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club in their name to their university's general scholarship fund.
Eight NCAA conferences are represented on the preseason Wooden Award list, including the ACC (eight players), SEC (six players), Big 12 (four players), Big East (four), Pac 10 (four), Conference USA (two players), Big Ten (one), and Sun Belt (one).
Last year's recipients were LSU senior Seimone Augustus ('06) and Duke senior J.J. Redick ('06).
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All-American recipients as well as sent over 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the awards name.