Chelsea Gray and junior Elizabeth Williams two of the 25 candidates for the prestigious award.DURHAM, N.C.- The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) 2013-14 preseason “Wade Watch” list was announced on Tuesday with Duke University senior
Duke is one of four schools with two candidates – California, Notre Dame and Tennessee , while Connecticut has four student-athletes on the list.
Along with Gray and Williams on the list include Natalie Achonwa (Notre Dame), Rachel Banham (Minnesota), Brittany Boyd (California), Gennifer Brandon (California), Jerica Coley (FIU), Stefanie Dolson (UConn), Aaryn Ellenberg (Oklahoma), Bashaara Graves (Tennessee), Bria Hartley (UConn), Jordan Hooper (Nebraska), Maggie Lucas (Penn State), Tyaunna Marshall (Georgia Tech), Kayla McBride (Georgia Tech), Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (UConn), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Theresa Plaisance (LSU), Ebony Rowe (Middle Tennessee), Shoni Shimmel (Louisville), Odyssey Sims (Baylor), DeNesha Stallworth (Kentucky), Breanna Stewart (UConn) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland).
A native of Manteca, Calif., Gray is coming off a season where she was injured in the 25th contest and missed the rest of the 2012-13 campaign. At the time of the injury, Gray was having one of the best individual seasons in Duke history. Gray, the 2013 Co-ACC Player of the Year and 2013 WBCA All-America, was averaging 13.1 points, 5.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 steals heading into game against the Demon Deacons. She led the ACC in assists and steals, while ranking in the top 10 nationally in steals as well.
In three years with the Blue Devils, Gray has totaled 1,026 points, 423 assists, 248 steals and 407 rebounds, while seeing action in 92 contests. A two-time All-America for the Blue Devils, Gray is the single-season record holder for Duke in assists (201) and needs 157 to pass Lindsey Harding (579) for the all-time career mark.
Williams is one of the top post players in the nation and averaged 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals a year ago. She ranked eighth nationally in blocks, while swatting a shot in each of her 69 career games at Duke.
The 6-3 center became the first player in ACC history to notch 200 blocks in her first two years at Duke and she reached 1,000 career points in only 69 games marking the fourth-quickest Duke player to reach the 1000-point club. The two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year collected seven games with 20 or more points. She became the first Blue Devil to be named Associated Press All-America in each of her first two years at Duke.
Now in its 37th year, The 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.
The preseason list is composed of top NCAA Division I women’s basketball players who best embody Wade’s spirit from 18 different institutions and seven conferences. 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.
The Atlantic Coast Conference placed six players on the 2013-14 preseason list, followed by the American Athletic Conference with five, the Southeastern Conference with four, the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences with three each, and the Big 12 Conference and Conference USA with two players each.
2013-14 Preseason Candidates
Player Institution Position Year
Natalie Achonwa Notre Dame Forward Senior
Rachel Banham Minnesota Guard Junior
Brittany Boyd California Guard Junior
Gennifer Brandon California Forward Senior
Jerica Coley FIU Guard Senior
Stefanie Dolson Connecticut Center Senior
Aaryn Ellenberg Oklahoma Guard Senior
Bashaara Graves Tennessee Forward Sophomore
Chelsea Gray Duke Guard Senior
Bria Hartley Connecticut Guard Senior
Jordan Hooper Nebraska Forward Senior
Maggie Lucas Penn State Guard Senior
Tyaunna Marshall Georgia Tech Guard Senior
Kayla McBride Notre Dame Guard Senior
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis Connecticut Forward Junior
Chiney Ogwumike 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