Chelsea Gray and sophomore Elizabeth Williams named to the 25-member list for the prestigious award.DURHAM, N.C. – The 2012-13 preseason “Wade Watch” list of candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy were released on Tuesday with Duke University junior
The Blue Devils are one of only five schools – Duke, Baylor, Kansas, Nebraska and Penn State -- with two players on the list, while Connecticut owns three.
Gray is coming off a sophomore season where she averaged 12.5 points, 6.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 steals. She ranked 12th nationally in assists and 29th in steals. The 5-11 playmaker elevated her game even more in the NCAA Tournament averaging 16.0 points, 6.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 steals as she was named to the Fresno Regional All-Tournament team.
Other honors Gary received last year was USBWA All-America, Naismith Midseason Player of the Year list, All-ACC Tournament second team, First Team All-ACC, two-time ACC Player of the Week and a John R. Wooden Award candidate. The Stockton, Calif., product tallied a Duke single-season record 201 assists on the year.
A product of Virginia Beach, Va., Williams is coming off a rookie campaign where she was named the consensus National Freshman of the Year in 2011-12. The 6-3 center averaged 14.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals a year ago, while earning ESPN.com, USBWA and Full Court Freshman of the Year accolades.
The 6-3 center posted one of the top freshman campaigns in league history as she notched a freshman record 116 blocked shots and ranked fourth nationally with a 3.5 per game average. She also became the first league freshman to be named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and only the third freshman to be voted to the All-ACC First Team. Williams was a John R. Wooden Award finalist and Naismith candidate for Player of the Year.
Now in its 36th year, the State Farm Wade Trophy is named in honor of the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. Regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball," the award is presented annually to the NCAA® Division I Player of the Year by the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) and the WBCA.
A committee of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States compiled the list using the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.
As a team, Duke has been tabbed No. 3 nationally in the preseason Lindy’s top 25 ledger. Williams was named a preseason second team All-America, while Gray was selected a preseason third team All-America by Lindy’s as well.
Fans will be able to see the Blue Devils in action first on Sunday, Oct. 28 when Duke will host its annual Blue/White contest in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
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