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NCAA: Bears Dash Devil Dreams, 51-48
Player by Player
Duke and ACC WNBA Players - 2010
DWHoops Wooden Award Ballot
By Rob Clough
April 2, 2010

The Wooden Award: One Voter's Ballot

There were 22 candidates for the Women's John R. Wooden Award this season, and nearly all of them merited a second and even a third look. Voters were asked to select five players and rank them from 1-5. The player ranked #1 was your selection for player of the year, and the other four players made up the Wooden All-America team. The complete list can be found here.

In general, I tried to avoid giving the nod to multiple players from the same team. In some instances, like with Xavier's Amber Harris & Ta'Shia Phillips, the teammates canceled each other out in my mind. It was impossible to value the contributions of one over the other. I took winning, overall dominance, statistical impact and value to her team as my primary criteria, along with sportsmanship & effort. For example, Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis was scratched off my list due to her frequent bratty outbursts this season. Our own Jasmine Thomas also fell just short of my top ten list, though I expect her to excel next season.

Five players I gave serious consideration to but ultimately decided to leave off included Tennessee's Shekinna Stricklen, Nebraska's Kelsey Griffin, Stanford's Jayne Appel, and the Harris/Phillips combo from Xavier. Stricklen carried her team this season to a gaudy record playing out of position at point guard, but the team's reliance on its bigs diminished her importance just a bit. Griffin had a great year but never demonstrated what I would consider true dominance. Appel was great but overshadowed by one of her teammates, while Phillips and Harris were such an impressive unit that it was impossible for me to choose one over the other. Without further ado, I'll unveil my four runner-up picks, in alphabetical order:

Dawn Evans, James Madison

Key Stats: 24.6 ppg, 4.6 apg, 34% 3FG, 177-221 FT

Put aside the fact that she's playing with a degenerative kidney disease, which forced her to skip several games this year. I have never seen a women's college basketball player with range that effortless and unlimited. She also loves to get her teammates involved and attack the rim. She willed her team to the CAA title and an NCAA berth.
DWHoops Photos by Orin Day

James Madison's Dawn Evans

Maya Moore, Connecticut

Key Stats: 18.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 41.3% 3FG, 51.4% FG, 2.08:1 A:TO (stats through Dayton Regional Final)

The winner last season, Moore had a fine season this year but was overshadowed a bit by Tina Charles' accomplishments. Moore also had a few stretches where she didn't shoot well. This is all nit-picking, considering her ridiculous range of skills and fierce will to win. When she's hitting, as she has been in the NCAA tournament, Moore is an unguardable player and UConn barely even breaks a sweat.
Connecticut's Maya Moore

Nneka Ogwumike, Stanford

Key Stats: 18.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 61.1% FG (stats through Sacramento Regional Final)

The best sophomore in the country has emerged as her team's best player, full stop. With All-Americans like Appel and Kayla Pedersen on Stanford's roster, this is saying something. Ogwumike is mobile, skilled, ridiculously athletic and aggressive. She will contend for all of the national player of the year awards next season, even with Moore still around.
Stanford's Nneka Ogwumike

Monica Wright, Virginia

Key Stats: 23.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.7 spg, 163-201 FT

There are few players in the country who meant as much to their team and program as Wright did this season for the Cavaliers. Bringing along a highly unpolished group of frosh and sophs, Moore routinely put up 30 points or more against defenses geared to stop her--and good defenses at that, in the ACC. Wright was also the best defender in the ACC and quite unselfish, even with the number of shots she was forced to take.
Virginia's Monica Wright

And my selection for the Wooden National Player of the Year award is...

Tina Charles, Connecticut

Key Stats: 18.3 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 63.0% FG, 2.3 bpg

Charles steadily improved from season to season, becoming a dominant low-post scorer in addition to being a top-notched rebounder, defender and screener. The ultimate tribute to Charles is how many teams geared their defenses to allow Moore to take all the outside shots she wanted so as to avoid Charles being able to set up for score after score. There's nothing fancy about Charles' game, just a precise execution of the fundamentals and supreme confidence. She is happy to score basket after basket using the same move if opponents can't stop it. She's also happy to set screens and play defense. Why is UConn so good? Because they have enormous talent and no clashing egos to get in the way.
Connecticut's Tina Charles

The 2010 John R. Wooden Award will be presented on April 9.

NCAA: Bears Dash Devil Dreams, 51-48
Player by Player
Duke and ACC WNBA Players - 2010

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