Taurasi was also player of the year last year

Updated: March 23, 2004, 7:42 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- St. Joseph's Jameer Nelson and Connecticut's Diana Taurasi were selected Tuesday as the 2004 Naismith college basketball players of the year.

Taurasi won for the second consecutive year.

Nelson, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, was the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. Nelson led St. Joseph's to an undefeated record in the regular season and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Nelson is the school's career leader in points and assists. He is averaging 20.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.

Taurasi, a 6-foot senior guard, already has led Connecticut to two NCAA championships -- 2002 and 2003 -- and a Final Four appearance in 2001. Taurasi is a two-time Big East Player of the Year who is averaging 15.6 points per game and is eight assists away from matching the school career record of 629.

Both players were also named to The Associated Press All America teams.

Last month, Dwight Howard of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy and Candace Parker of Naperville Central High in Illinois won the Naismith prep awards.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press