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ATLANTA, Ga. Virginia women’s basketball guard Monica Wright was named to the 2007-08 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List, presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.

The second-year Woodbridge, Va., native and reigning ACC Rookie of the Year is one of just five sophomores on the prestigious list. Through the Cavaliers’ first 10 games, Wright leads the team by averaging 16.1 points per game and was named the ACC Player of the Week on Dec. 3 after matching a career-high 27 points in Virginia’s win over Wisconsin.

The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s players of the year. The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its preseason criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2007-08 campaign. There are 27 seniors, 18 juniors and five sophomores on the list, which does not include incoming freshmen, who will be considered in the first ballot in January, 2008.

AT&T will continue to set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year’s winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25-percent of the final results more than any other national college basketball award.

In January, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its preseason list to the Top-30 players in the nation. Those players will be eligible for the final ballot in March. In April, the Naismith Trophy winner will be recognized at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Fla.

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