Danielle McCray Named To All-Big 12 First Team

March 9, 2009

DALLAS, Texas –

Kansas’ Danielle McCray was named to the All-Big 12 First Team as part of the Phillips 66 2008-09 All-Big 12 Women’s Basketball Awards which were released Monday by the conference office. Sherri Coale (Oklahoma) was chosen Big 12 Coach of the Year for the fourth time, while Courtney Paris (Oklahoma) earned her third consecutive Big 12 Player of the Year honor, both league records in highlighting this year’s awards.

Tanisha Smith (Texas A&M) was voted Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Whitney Hand (Oklahoma) garnered Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Danielle Gant (Texas A&M) was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Melissa Jones (Baylor) and Nyeshia Stevenson (Oklahoma) tied for the Sixth Man Award. The honors were voted by the league’s head coaches, with coaches not allowed to vote for their own players.

McCray led the Jayhawks with 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. The do-it-all junior guard-forward also led the team in 3-point field goal percentage, free throws made, blocks and steals. McCray scored 20 or more points in 16 games and 30 or more points in three games this season. McCray had seven double-doubles during the regular season and finished the regular season ranked in the Top 10 of the conference rankings in nine different statistical categories.

McCray received All-Big 12 Honorable Mention recognition last year during the 2007-08 season as a sophomore and is one of only four Kansas players to receive All-Big 12 First Team honors and the first since Crystal Kemp in 2005-06. The only other Jayhawks to earn All-Big 12 First Team honors are Tamecka Dixon in 1996-97 and Lynn Pride in 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000.

Coale led OU to the 2009 Big 12 regular season title, the team’s sixth, all since 2000. The Sooners finished the conference season with a 15-1 record and are 27-3 overall. Oklahoma is currently ranked No. 3 in the national polls and has been rated in the Top 10 the entire season. Oklahoma will enter the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship as the No. 1 seed.

Paris is the first three-time Big 12 women’s basketball player of the year award winner. The senior center is the Conference’s all-time leader in points (2,624), rebounds (1,941) and blocked shots (415). She is also the NCAA’s career leader in rebounding and consecutive double-doubles. Her streak of 112 consecutive double-doubles came to an end on Feb . 2 in the Sooners’ win over Tennessee. Paris tops the Big 12 this season in rebounding (13.7) and field goal percentage (.587). She is third in blocks (2.6) and fifth in scoring (16.1).

In her first season with the Aggies, Smith started 15-of-28 games played after transferring from Arkansas-Fort Smith. She is third on her team in scoring with 9.6 points an outing while adding 3.6 rebounds. Smith has contributed 56 assists, 41 steals and 20 blocks. She leads Texas A&M in three-point field goal percentage at 41.4 percent, knocking down 24-of-58 attempts.

Hand started all 26 games she competed in before suffering an injury. Her 9.2 points ranks second in the Big 12 freshman class while she is fourth in assists (1.58) and steals (1.12). Hand is third among all Big 12 players in three-point field goal percentage (.388) and seventh in three-pointers made per game (1.7). She earned four league Freshman of the Week honors.

Gant, the cog in Texas A&M’s full-court press, is often charged with guarding the opponent’s best player. She is second in the Big 12 in steals (2.4), 12th in rebounds (6.9) and 13th in blocks (0.9). The senior guard/forward also produces on the offensive end with 13.3 points per contest.

Jones and Stevenson tied for the third annual Sixth Man Award. Jones averages 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game for Baylor. She has contributed 46 assists, 44 steals and 11 blocks while hitting 49.3 percent (67-of-136) of her shots. Stevenson provided a spark off the bench for the Sooners before starting the last four games due to Hand’s injury. She averages 9.6 points and 1.6 rebounds with 33 assists and 35 steals. Stevenson was named Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 15 after scoring 21 points, all in the second half, to lead OU from a 26-point deficit to victory over No. 9/7 California in the largest non-overtime comeback in NCAA history.

2008-09 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Awards

Coach of the Year: Sherri Coale, Oklahoma (fourth award)

Player of the Year: Courtney Paris, Oklahoma (third consecutive award)

Newcomer of the Year: Tanisha Smith, Texas A&M

Freshman of the Year: Whitney Hand, Oklahoma

Defensive Player of the Year: Danielle Gant, Texas A&M

Sixth Man Award: Melissa Jones, Baylor and Nyeshia Stevenson, Oklahoma

All-Big 12 First Team (alphabetical by school)

Player School Pos Ht Cl Hometown

Danielle Wilson Baylor C 6-3 Jr Bay Shore, N.Y.

Danielle McCray Kansas G/F 5-11 Jr Olathe, Kan.

Shalee Lehning Kansas State G 5-9 Sr Sublette, Kan.

Ashley Sweat Kansas State F 6-2 Jr McPherson, Kan.

Ashley Paris Oklahoma F 6-3 Sr Piedmont, Calif.

Courtney Paris Oklahoma C 6-4 Sr Piedmont, Calif.

Danielle Robinson Oklahoma G 5-9 So San Jose, Calif.

Andrea Riley Oklahoma State G 5-5 Jr Dallas, Texas

Danielle Gant Texas A&M G/F 5-11 Sr Oklahoma City, Okla.

Takia Starks Texas A&M G 5-8 Sr Houston, Texas

All-Big 12 Second Team (alphabetical by school)

Brittany Spears Colorado F 6-1 So Pasadena, Calif.

Heather Ezell Iowa State G 5-9 Sr Springfield, Mo.

Marlies Gipson Kansas State F 6-0 Sr McPherson, Kan.

Brittainey Raven Texas G 6-0 Jr Fort Worth, Texas

Dominic Seals Texas Tech F 6-2 Sr Dallas, Texas

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (alphabetical by school)

Rachel Allison, Jessica Morrow and Jhasmin Player (Baylor); Kara Richards (Colorado); Alison Lacey and Kelsey Bolte (Iowa State); Alyssa Hollins (Missouri); Cory Montgomery (Nebraska); Whitney Hand (Oklahoma); Shaunte’ Smith (Oklahoma State); and Carla Cortijo and Kathleen Nash (Texas),

Big 12 All-Defensive Team (alphabetical by school)

Player School Pos Ht Cl Hometown

Danielle Wilson Baylor C 6-3 Jr Bay Shore, N.Y.

Yvonne Turner Nebraska G 5-8 Jr Omaha, Neb.

Courtney Paris Oklahoma C 6-4 Sr Piedmont, Calif.

Danielle Robinson Oklahoma G 5-9 So San Jose, Calif.

Danielle Gant Texas A&M G/F 5-11 Sr Oklahoma City, Okla.

Big 12 All-Freshman Team (alphabetical by school)

Player School Pos Ht Cl Hometown

Alyssa Fressle Colorado G 5-10 Fr Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Whitney Hand Oklahoma G 6-1 Fr Fort Worth, Texas

Ashleigh Fontenette Texas G 5-8 Fr Pflugerville, Texas

Sydney Carter Texas A&M G 5-6 Fr DeSoto, Texas

Kierra Mallard Texas Tech C 6-3 Fr Dallas, Texas