Longhorn trio gain Preseason Naismith National Player of the Year consideration
ATLANTA -- Fifty of the country's top collegiate women's basketball players were named as pre-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday. Once again, the University of Texas has three players recognized for a 2004-05 National Player of the Year award, as 6-2 senior forward Heather Schreiber (Windthorst, Texas/Windthorst HS), 5-6 senior guard Jamie Carey (Thornton, Colo./Horizon HS) and 6-3 sophomore forward Tiffany Jackson (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville HS) are among the Naismith candidates.
Texas is one of two programs with three Naismith candidates, and UT is the only program to have three candidates for the other two National Player of the Year awards. The Longhorns trio have now been mentioned for all three prestigious National Player of the Year honors this season: The State Farm Wade Trophy, the John R. Wooden Award, and now the Naismith honor.
Schreiber, Carey and Jackson will lead the No. 2 ranked Longhorns into their season opener on Sunday, Nov. 14 when UT hosts the four-team State Farm Tip-Off Classic in Austin. Texas faces No. 21 Penn State (3 p.m. Central) in its season opener at the Frank Erwin Center, which is preceded by a 12:30 p.m. game (Central) between No. 2 LSU and No. 8 Baylor. Texas, two-time defending Big 12 regular season champion, is coming off last year's 30-5 mark and a NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.
The Naismith Top 50 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 pre-season criteria on player performances from last season.
"The women's pre-season candidates represent the very best in college basketball," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Sports Council president. "It will be a privilege to add any of these players to the list of distinguished Naismith Trophy winners. In January, the Board of Selectors will narrow its pre-season list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March."
"The talent in women's basketball is as deep as it's ever been this season," said Daryl Evans, vice president of advertising and marketing for Cingular Wireless. "Cingular is excited to partner with the Atlanta Tipoff Club to present the best women's player with the most recognizable award in college basketball, the Naismith Trophy."
Schreiber, Jackson and Carey are the three top returnees for head coach Jody Conradt's squad. Jackson was voted the National Freshman of the Year last winter by ESPN.com and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the Big 12 Rookie of the Year. She led a balanced UT scoring attack with 13.0 ppg and was first in UT blocks (44, 1.3 bpg) and steals (66, 1.9 spg). She also was second in rebounding (7.5 rpg).
Schreiber, a finalist for National Player of the Year honors last year and an All-Big 12 First Team pick, averaged 12.9 points and 5.8 boards per contest a year ago and was second to Carey in 3-point shooting (50-128, .391).
Carey, another National Player of the Year finalist a year ago, was a Big 12 First Team selection and finalist for Lieberman National Point Guard of the Year, registered 10.7 ppg a year ago. Carey led the Longhorns in 3-point shooting, hitting 66 treys (66-162) for 41 percent accuracy from long range, and was second in assists, dishing out 97 for a 2.8 apg average.
The pre-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:
2004-05 Preseason Naismith National Player of the Year Candidates