The Blue Demon senior is one of 12 BIG EAST Conference Players on the 51-person watch list
Nov. 30, 2011
Women's Basketball Naismith Early-Season Watch List
ATLANTA – The BIG EAST Conference sits atop the 2011-12 Naismith Women’s early-season watch list, with 12 players from six different universities being recognized, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Wednesday.
The watch list includes the top women’s college basketball players from 35 schools around the country, and was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012 college basketball season. The 2012 Naismith Trophy will be awarded at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Denver.
DePaul senior forward Keisha Hampton joins the early season Naismith watch list for the second time after being named to the Midseason list durning the 2010-11 season. This season, Hampton is averaging 19.5 points per game which ranks fifth in the BIG EAST. The Philadelphia native has led No. 22/21 DePaul in scoring in three of Blue Demons’ six games including a career-high 32 at Northwestern on Nov. 27. The senior’s .902 (37-of-41) percentage at the free throw line leads DePaul while it ranks 46th in the country and fourth in the league. Hampton leads the Blue Demons in blocks (10), is second in rebounding (5.3) and third in steals (1.5).
Three schools – Notre Dame, Tennessee and Connecticut – have three players apiece on the list, while eight schools have two each. The list represents 13 different athletic conferences and features mostly upperclassmen.
“With 15 players returning from last season’s watch list, including two of last year’s finalists, this year’s Naismith Women’s Player of the Year trophy is all about experience,” said Eric Oberman, Atlanta Tipoff Club executive director. “We’re excited for all of the action to unfold and to see who is left standing at the end of the season.”
In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists.
Notable Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year winners include Chamique Holdsclaw, Lisa Leslie, Rebecca Lobo, Tina Charles and last year’s winner, Maya Moore. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s player of the year.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.