After Washington freshman G Kelsey Plum’s performance in an upset against No. 3 Stanford on Sunday and consistency this season, I wondered whether the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association would make her part of the 10 players added by the WBCA on Monday to the “Wade Watch” list. UW junior Jazmine Davis was a preseason nod but didn’t advance in the latest cut to determine the top women’s basketball player in the country.
Plum wasn’t part of the additions. In fact, none of the additions were from a school out West. But Plum’s performance resonated with national media and Cardinal Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer.
“Kelsey Plum had an outstanding game and I can’t believe there’s a better freshman in the country,” VanDerveer said of Plum, who began her post-prep career by winning gold with USA Basketball’s FIBA U-19 team last summer.
Plum, a crafty 5-foot-9 lefty, is the leading scorer among freshmen in the country, averaging 19.7 points. She’s close to becoming UW’s top freshman leading scorer in program history. Loree Payne owns the record. She averaged 17.4 points as a freshman in 1999-00. Payne totaled 521 points that season. Plum is at 454 with six Pac-12 games remaining on the regular-season schedule.
Here are the additions to the “Wade Watch” list from the WBCA:
10 players added to list of ‘Wade Watch’ hopefuls
ATLANTA (Feb. 10, 2014) – The Wade Trophy Committee has added 10 additional student-athletes to the 2014 “Wade Watch” list, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), on behalf of the Wade Trophy Coalition, announced today.
Joining the preseason list of 25 Wade Watch hopefuls are Tiffany Bias of Oklahoma State, Hallie Christofferson of Iowa State, Christina Foggie of Vanderbilt, Markeisha Gatling of N.C. State, Dearica Hamby of Wake Forest, Natasha Howard of Florida State, Alexis Jones of Duke, Tricia Liston of Duke, Jewell Loyd of Notre Dame, and Tiffany Mitchell of South Carolina.
The Wade Trophy Coalition presents The Wade Trophy to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA® Division I women’s basketball player each year – one who not only excels athletically but also serves as a positive role model both on and off the court. The acclaimed Wade Watch list, from which The Wade Trophy recipient is chosen, consists of players selected on the basis of game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.
The Wade Watch list will be trimmed to 12 finalists in mid-March. The Wade Trophy Coalition will officially announce The Wade Trophy winner at the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 7, which is part of the 2014 WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four®, in Nashville.
Here is the complete 2014 State Farm Wade Watch list:
Name Institution Position Year Natalie Achonwa Notre Dame Forward Senior Rachel Banham Minnesota Guard Junior Tiffany Bias Oklahoma State Guard Senior Brittany Boyd California Guard Junior Gennifer Brandon California Forward Senior Hallie Christofferson Iowa State Forward Senior Jerica Coley FIU Guard Senior Stefanie Dolson Connecticut Center Senior Aaryn Ellenberg Oklahoma Guard Senior Christina Foggie Vanderbilt Guard Senior Markeisha Gatling NC State Center Senior Bashaara Graves Tennessee Forward Sophomore Chelsea Gray Duke Guard Senior Dearica Hamby Wake Forest Forward Junior Bria Hartley Connecticut Guard Senior Jordan Hooper Nebraska Forward Senior Natasha Howard Florida State Forward Senior Alexis Jones Duke Guard Sophomore Tricia Liston Duke Guard Senior Jewell Loyd Notre Dame Guard Sophomore Maggie Lucas Penn State Guard Senior Tyaunna Marshall Georgia Tech Guard Senior Kayla McBride Notre Dame Guard Senior Tiffany Mitchell South Carolina Guard Sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis Connecticut Forward Junior Chiney Oqwumike Stanford Forward Senior Theresa Plaisance LSU Forward Senior Ebony Rowe Middle Tennessee Forward Senior Shoni Schimmel Louisville Guard Senior Meighan Simmons Tennessee Guard Senior Odyssey Sims Baylor Guard Senior DeNesha Stallworth Kentucky Forward Senior Breanna Stewart Connecticut Forward Sophomore Alyssa Thomas Maryland Forward Senior Elizabeth Williams Duke Center/Forward Junior
The Wade Trophy, named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University head coach Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women’s national player of the year award in college basketball. The Wade Trophy Coalition was established in June 2000 when the WBCA partnered with The National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS), now known as the Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America. For the past 11 years the two have worked together to present The Wade Trophy player of the year award. A committee composed of coaches, administrators and media from across the U.S. selects the winner.