DURHAM, N.C. - The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced its women’s preseason candidates for the 2011 John R. Wooden Award on Tuesday with Duke senior Jasmine Thomas one of 30 selected.
The midseason candidate list will be updated in December and the official voting ballot will be released in March. The national ballot consists of approximately 20 players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top five players, will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.
Thomas is coming off a junior campaign where she averaged 16.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.8 steals on the year, while leading Duke to its sixth ACC Championship and a share of the ACC Regular Season title. The 5-9 guard started all 36 contests and led the Blue Devils with 11 games with 20 or more points scored.
A native of Fairfax, Va., Thomas was one of 12 finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy, Naismith and John R. Wooden candidate for National Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP, first team All-ACC, Nancy Lieberman Award nominee, Kay Yow Award as the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America a year ago.
Along with Thomas the following were named to the preseason list -- Danielle Adams (Texas A&M), Kachine Alexander (Iowa), Angie Bjorklund (Tennessee), Jessica Breland (UNC), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Jasmine Dixon (UCLA), Victoria Dunlap (Kentucky), Dawn Evans (James Madison), Brittney Griner (Baylor), Amber Harris (Xavier), Tiffany Hayes (UConn), Shenise Johnson (Miami), Jantel Lavender (Ohio State), Italee Lucas (UNC), Maya Moore (UConn), Deirde Naughton (DePaul), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford), Kayla Pedersen (Stanford), Ta’Shia Phillips (Xavier), Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State), Lauren Prochaska (Bowling Green), Chastity Reed (Arkansas Little-Rock), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma), Sugar Rodgers (Georgetown), Shekinna Stricklen (Tennessee), Helena Sverrisdorttir (TCU), Carolyn Swords (Boston College), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga).
Thomas had one of the best all-around seasons in Duke history as she became only the second Blue Devil to notch 100 steals in a season along with Alana Beard. Thomas also ranked in seven other Duke single-season categories -- 63 three-pointers (4th), 577 points (7th), 1,168 minutes (1st), 532 field goal attempts (2nd), 177 three-point field goal attempts (5th), 146 assists (8th) and 100 steals (4th).
The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, a special tribute to Coach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 8-10, 2011.
Thomas is also a preseason candidate for the 2011 State Farm Wade Trophy and has been named a preseason first team All-America by Athlon and the Sporting News.