Kansas Junior Danielle McCray Named Naismith Trophy Mid-Season Candidate

Feb. 26, 2009

ATLANTA, Ga. – Kansas junior guard-forward Danielle McCray was named a Naismith Trophy Mid-Season candidate the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.

McCray is listed as one of 30 mid-season candidates, including six players from the Big 12 Conference. League members joining McCray include Kansas State guard Shalee Lehning, Oklahoma forwards Ashley and Courtney Paris, Oklahoma State guard Andrea Riley and Baylor forward Danielle Wilson.

The 30 finalists are vying for the 2009 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T, which will be presented at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in St. Louis. Last year’s winner was Tennessee’s Candace Parker.

McCray leads Kansas (15-11, 4-9) in scoring with 19.5 points per game, which is good for second in the Big 12. She has scored 20 or more points in 14 games this season and has eclipsed the 30-point mark twice. She is also first on the team with 7.8 rebounds per contest, which ranks eighth in the conference.

The top 30 women’s list was voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.

The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national basketball award given annually to the women’s college basketball player of the year. This 2009 winner will be announced at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in St. Louis.

“What’s most impressive about these candidates is the leadership role that they have exhibited in leading their respective teams to success this year,” said Gary Stokan, president of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Their confluence of skills is befitting of the most prestigious trophy in all of college basketball, and we look forward to seeing which one emerges as the winner.”

For the sixth consecutive season, presenting sponsor AT&T will once again 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. This year, beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers — and sports fans on other wireless networks — will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice.

Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 4. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.

2009 Naismith Women’s Mid-season Candidates:

Appel Jayne (Jr. Forward/Center Stanford)

Black Chante (Sr. Center Duke)

Bonner DeWanna (Sr. Guard Auburn)

Breland Jessica (Jr. Forward North Carolina)

Charles Tina (Jr. Center Connecticut)

Clark Alysha (Jr. Forward Middle Tennessee)

Fields Shayla( Sr. Guard North Carolina State)

Fitz Rachele (Jr. Forward Marist)

Grant Tyra (Jr. Guard Penn State)

Kurz Laura (Sr. Forward Villanova)

Lavender Jantel (So. Center Ohio State)

Lehning Shalee (Sr. Guard Kansas State)

Littles Lyndra (Sr. Forward Virginia)

McCoughtry Angel (Sr. Forward Louisville)

McCray Danielle (Jr. Guard/Forward Kansas)

Mohammed Aisha (Sr. Center Virginia)

Montgomery Renee (Sr. Guard Connecticut)

Moore Maya(So. Forward Connecticut)

Paris Ashley (Sr. Forward Oklahoma)

Paris Courtney (Sr. Center Oklahoma)

Phillips Ta’Shia (So. Center Xavier)

Prince Epiphanny (Jr. Guard Rutgers)

Riley Andrea (Jr. Guard Oklahoma State)

Toliver Kristi (Sr. Guard Maryland)

Walker Ashley (Sr. Forward/Center California)

Warburton Morgan (Sr. Guard Utah)

Wilson Danielle (Jr. Forward Baylor)

Wisdom-Hylton Lindsay (Sr. Forward Purdue)

Wright Monica (Jr. Guard Virginia)

Zellous Shavonte (Sr. Guard Pittsburgh)