McCray Tabbed Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year

Oct. 7, 2009

IRVING, Texas –

Kansas senior guard-forward Danielle McCray was named 2009-10 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year in a vote of the league’s head coaches, it was announced here Wednesday. In addition to McCray’s honor, Danielle Adams (Texas A&M) was chosen Preseason Newcomer of the Year and Brittney Griner (Baylor) was selected Preseason Freshman of the Year. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.

“This is an exciting honor for Danielle,” said Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson, who is entering her sixth season at the helm of the program. “Danielle has worked extremely hard on her game and competing in the Big 12, the best conference in America, has really helped grow her game.”

McCray was an All-Big 12 First Team selection last season while earning All-America honorable mention recognition from the Associated Press and Division I women’s basketball coaches. She was second in the Conference in scoring (21.6) and ninth in rebounding (7.7) while posting eight double-doubles. The 5-11 senior Olathe, Kan., native led the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage (.426), was second in three-pointers made per game (2.25) and fifth in free throw percentage (.831). McCray led the Jayhawks to the championship game of the postseason WNIT and won a gold medal this past summer as a member of the USA Women’s World University Games Team.

“I am thrilled to earn this honor,” said McCray, who is the first Jayhawk to be named Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year since Tamecka Dixon nabbed the honor prior to the 1996-97 season. “My coaches and teammates push me hard each and every day in practice and without them I would not be in this position. I have a lot of respect for all of the players in our league, so I am really flattered to earn this award.”

Adams is the second consecutive Aggie to earn Preseason Newcomer of the Year honors. The 6-1 forward/center was named Junior College Player of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association after averaging 22.1 points for Jefferson College in 2008-09. She led her squad to a 34-1 record with its only loss in the junior college national championship game.

Griner, a 6-8 center, was ranked as the nation’s top player by all recruiting services. She averaged 33 points, 15.5 rebounds, 11.7 blocks, 3.4 steals and 3.1 assists as a senior at Houston’s Nimitz High School while also dunking 52 times in 32 games. The national player of the year produced career totals of 3,114 points, 1,586 rebounds, 939 blocks, 268 steals and 198 assists.

Joining McCray on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team are Kelsey Griffin (Nebraska), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma), Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State) and Brittainey Raven (Texas). McCray, Robinson and Riley were members of the 2009 All-Big 12 First Team while Raven was a second team selection. Griffin redshirted last season due to an injury, but was a first team pick in 2007 and 2008. Riley was also on the first team in 2008 and was the 2007 Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Robinson was named Freshman of the Year in 2008.

Griffin was named to the preseason team the past two years while Riley was selected last season. Raven was the 2006-07 Preseason Freshman of the Year.

2009-10 Big 12 Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason awards

(coaches not allowed to vote for own players)

Preseason Player of the Year

Danielle McCray, Kansas, F, 5-11, Sr, Olathe, Kan./East

Preseason Newcomer of the Year

Danielle Adams, Texas A&M, F/C, 6-1, Jr, Kansas City, Mo./Lee’s Summitt/Jefferson College

Preseason Freshman of the Year

Brittney Griner, Baylor, C, 6-8, Houston, Texas/Nimitz

Preseason All-Big 12 Team

Name School Pos Ht Cl-Exp PPG RPG Hometown/Previous School

Danielle McCray Kansas F 5-11 Sr-3L 21.6 7.7 Olathe, Kan./East

Kelsey Griffin Nebraska F 6-2 Sr-3L 15.3^ 7.2^ Eagle River, Alaska/Chugiak

Danielle Robinson Oklahoma G 5-9 Jr-2L 12.9 2.9 San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty

Andrea Riley Oklahoma State G 5-5 Sr-3L 23.0 4.2 Dallas, Texas/Lincoln

Brittainey Raven Texas G 6-0 Sr-3L 13.4 3.1 Fort Worth, Texas/North Crowley

^2007-08 statistics; redshirted in 2008-09

Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school)

Brittney Griner (Baylor), Alison Lacey (Iowa State), Ashley Sweat (Kansas State), Whitney Hand (Oklahoma), Tanisha Smith (Texas A&M)