Twelve players, including last season's winner, Seimone Augustus of LSU, have been named finalists for the 2006 State Farm Wade Trophy, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced Thursday.
Augustus, one of seven seniors on the list, is a two-time Kodak All-American who leads LSU and the nation with 23.0 points per game. Augustus' teammate, Sylvia Fowles, is one of three sophomores nominated.
Georgia was the only other school with two finalists, as sophomore Tasha Humphrey and senior defensive stalwart Sherill Baker also made the cut.
The complete list of finalists includes: Seimone Augustus (Sr., LSU), Sherill Baker (Sr., Georgia), Monique Currie (Sr., Duke), Jessica Davenport (Jr., Ohio State), Candice Dupree (Sr., Temple), Sylvia Fowles (Soph., LSU), Tasha Humphrey (Soph., Georgia), Ivory Latta (Jr., North Carolina), Cappie Pondexter (Sr., Rutgers), Khara Smith (Sr., DePaul), Candice Wiggins (Soph., Stanford), Sophia Young (Sr., Baylor).
"All 12 finalists have earned this recognition, considering the contributions they have made to their institutions both on and off the court," Beth Bass, WBCA CEO, said. "Any of these student-athletes would be an excellent representative of Lily Margaret Wade and The State Farm Wade Trophy."
The list of finalists were selected by representatives from the Wade Trophy committee (basketball coaches, journalists and basketball administrators), the WBCA and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).
The winner will be selected from the 10-member Division I Kodak All-America Team and will be announced at the Kodak/WBCA All-America Team press conference/Wade Trophy announcement on April 1 during the Final Four in Boston.
The Wade Trophy, now in its 29th year, is named after the late Lily Margaret Wade, legendary coach of the three-time national champion Delta State University. The award, regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball," debuted in 1978 as the first women's national player of the year award in college basketball.
The first recipient of the Wade Trophy was Carol Blazejowski of Montclair State in 1978. Other Wade Trophy/NCAA Division I Player of the Year recipients include many WNBA standouts such as Teresa Weatherspoon (1988), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1997), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003) and the only two-time recipient thus far, Nancy Lieberman (1979 and 1980).