A small caveat, everyone can still be considered for the award. But it’s still impressive that Gonzaga PG Courtney Vandersloot remains one of the players named as part of the top-20 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, the nation’s most coveted college basketball honor.
It’s highly doubtful Vandersloot (pictured right by ESPN) will top University of Connecticut stars Maya Moore, who won in 2009, or Tina Charles, the expected top pick in April’s WNBA draft. Yet, the class of names to be linked with is notable.
Like Baylor freshman Brittney Griner, a 6-foot-8 dunking sensation, and Delaware G Elena Delle Donne, who made headlines last year when she snubbed UConn to play volleyball closer to home. In Delle Donne’s first hoops season, she is ranked No. 4 in the country in scoring (24.7), and averages 9.6 rebounds.
But, again, anyone can be considered at the end of the season when more than 300 voters, comprised of sports media members and college basketball experts from across the nation, determine both the five-member All American Team and Player of the Year.
The 10-player Wooden Award All American Team will be announced in March and the 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the men’s and women’s winner, will take place April 9.
Vandersloot, a Kent native, leads the nation in assists (9.3) and is fourth in steals (3.9). She also averages 11.9 points for Gonzaga (12-4, 1-0 West Coast Conference). The Bulldogs host Saint Mary’s (11-6, 2-0 WCC) on Thursday.