Stanford lands two to Wooden Award Preseason list

January 12, 2011, 2:35 am
Share This Post


STANFORD Stanford womens basketball was one of just two teams in the nationto have multiple selections to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top20 list as forwards Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen made the cut,The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday.Ogwumikeand Pedersen highlighted a list that includes fellow Pac-10 playerJasmine Dixon from UCLA. Ogwumike was a 2010 John Wooden AwardAll-American last season. Stanford and North Carolina were the only twoschools to have multiple selections.Eachplayer has been vital to fourth-ranked Stanfords 12-2 start to theyear, including the teams 3-0 start to Pac-10 play. Ogwumike, a 2010All-American, leads the team in scoring (17.2 ppg), rebounding (8.4rpg) and shooting (59.3 percent) while Pedersen, one of the mostversatile players in the nation, is the only Cardinal player to rank inthe teams top three in scoring (11.5 ppg third), rebounding (8.2 rpg second) and assists (3.23 apg). Pedersen,has recorded three double-doubles so far in 2010-11, and each has comein key non-conference victories. The Fountain Hills, Ariz. dominatedthe boards to the tune of double-digit rebounding totals in wins overGonzaga (10), Texas (12) and top-ranked Connecticut (11), and added a14-point, six-rebound, three-assist all-around performance in theCardinals 89-52 victory over No. 44 Xavier on Dec. 28.Ogwumike,meanwhile, has posted double-doubles against three ranked teams so farthis season (DePaul, Tennessee and Xavier), and has shot over 50.0percent in 12 of her 13 games. Boasting the 10th-best shootingpercentage in the nation (59.3), Ogwumike most recently combined toshoot 67.9 percent (19-for-28) over Stanfords weekend sweep of Arizonaand Arizona State on Jan. 6 and 8.TheWooden Award All-America Team will be announced the week of the EliteEight round during the NCAA Tournament, making it unique among collegepostseason awards. Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts areeligible for this midseason list but did not appear on the preseasonTop 30. All players nationally who excel throughout the season will beevaluated and considered for the official voting ballot released inMarch. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players whohave proven to their universities that they are also making progresstoward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.Anunprecedented nine players from the 2010 Wooden Award ballot return tothe midseason list in 2011, including the nations No. 1 (Dawn Evans ofJames Madison) and No. 3 scorers (Jantel Lavender of Ohio State). TheWooden Award Womens Advisory Board had an especially difficult task inpreparing this years midseason list, with several members commentingthat they could find six or seven additional players who were deservingbeyond the 20 selected. Competition for one of the 20 spots on theWooden Award Ballot is expected to be especially tough this year.The35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcementof the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, a special tribute toCoach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, and thepresentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends ofCoaching Award, given to Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo, will takeplace April 8, 2011.Stanford returns to action this Friday night, traveling to Seattle to take on Washington in a 7 p.m. contest.Courtesy Stanford media services