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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia senior guard Monica Wright was named one of 31 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the frontrunners for the Women’s Wooden Award.

Wright (Woodbridge, Va.), who was on the final national ballot last season for the Wooden Award, is also a preseason candidate for the State Farm Wade Trophy. Her accolades last season included an Associated Press honorable mention All-America nod and a spot on the All-ACC first team.

She set the UVa single-season scoring record last year with 696 points, and led the ACC in scoring at 20.5 points per game.

The list contains 31 players, not the traditional 30, because the playing status of North Carolina’s Jessica Breland is uncertain due to a possible medical redshirt year. Transfers, freshmen and 2009 medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for December’s midseason list and the official ballot released in March.

The breadth of talent across the country is shown by the record number of NCAA Division I conferences (12) highlighted on the list. The Big 10 conference has five candidates, followed by the Big East, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-10 with four apiece, the SEC (3), West Coast (2), America East (1), Atlantic 10 (1), CAA (1), Mountain West (1) and Sun Belt (1).

In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Women’s Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA Tournament.

The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

2009-10 John R. Wooden Award®
Women’s Preseason Top 30 List

Name Height Class Position University Conference
Jayne Appel 6-4 Sr. F/C Stanford Pac-10
Erica Beverly 6-0 Sr. F Hartford America East
Angie Bjorklund 6-0 Jr. G/F Tennessee SEC
Heather Bowman 6-2 Sr. F Gonzaga West Coast
Jessica Breland* 6-3 Sr. F North Carolina ACC
Tina Charles 6-4 Sr. C Connecticut Big East
Alysha Clark 5-10 Sr. F Middle Tennessee Sun Belt
Allyssa DeHaan 6-9 Sr. C Michigan State Big Ten
Tyra Grant 5-11 Sr. G Penn State Big Ten
Alexis Gray-Lawson 5-8 Sr. G California Pac-10
Allison Hightower 5-10 Sr. G Louisiana State SEC
Ashley Houts 5-6 Sr. G Georgia SEC
Ify Ibekwe 6-1 Jr. F Arizona Pac-10
Jantel Lavender 6-4 Jr. C Ohio State Big Ten
Gabriela Marginean 6-1 Sr. F Drexel CAA
Danielle McCray 5-11 Sr. G/F Kansas Big 12
Nicole Michael 6-2 Sr. F Syracuse Big East
Jacinta Monroe 6-4 Sr. F/C Florida State ACC
Maya Moore #$ 6-0 Jr. F Connecticut Big East
Jené Morris 5-9 Sr. G San Diego State Mountain West
Dierdre Naughton 5-10 Sr. G DePaul Big East
Ta’Shia Phillips 6-6 Jr. C Xavier Atlantic 10
Jeanette Pohlen 6-0 Jr. G Stanford Pac-10
Samantha Prahalis 5-7 So. G Ohio State Big Ten
Andrea Riley 5-5 Sr. G Oklahoma State Big 12
Danielle Robinson 5-9 Jr. G Oklahoma Big 12
Jenna Smith 6-3 Sr. C Illinois Big Ten
Ashley Sweat 6-2 Sr. F Kansas State Big 12
Carolyn Swords 6-6 Jr. C Boston College ACC
Courtney Vandersloot 5-8 Jr. G Gonzaga West Coast
Monica Wright 5-11 Sr. G Virginia ACC
*Possible 2010 medical redshirt # 2009 Wooden Award winner $ 2008 Wooden Award All-American

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