Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams each selected.ATLANTA, Ga. – The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the top 30 candidates under consideration for the Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year award on Wednesday with Duke’s
The top 30 candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances during this year’s college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the pack to four finalists. The Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded to one female athlete on April 8, 2013, in New Orleans, La.
Gray, who is out of Manteca, Calif., was having a standout season in 2012-13 prior to getting injured in the first half against Wake Forest on Sunday, Feb. 17. She suffered a dislocated kneecap and will miss the rest of the season. Gray was averaging 13.1 points, 5.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 steals heading into game against the Demon Deacons. She leads the ACC in assists and steals, while sixth nationally in steals as well. The 5-11 guard was having one of the best all-around seasons in Duke history.
A product of Virginia Beach, Va., Williams is averaging 15.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals on the season. She ranks 12th nationally in blocks and 31st with a 52.2 field goal percentage, while posting a tied for team-best five double-doubles. Williams has registered a team-best 15 straight games with double-figure scoring and has blocked a shot in all 60 collegiate contests since arriving at Duke.
For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting will open to fans on Monday, March 25. Naismith Trophy presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate.
The Blue Devils clinched their fourth straight ACC regular season crown and second consecutive outright league title with a 16-0 ACC mark, after taking down Maryland this past Sunday. The 16 wins tied an ACC record for most league victories in a season.
Duke (26-1) will next travel Coral Gables, Fla., to face Miami on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7:00 p.m.