Kansas Lands Three Among College Basketball's 2004-05 Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award Nominees

Nov. 29, 2004

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The top 30 male and female college basketball players entering their senior season have been nominated for the fourth annual Bayer Advantage® Senior CLASS Award. The award is presented annually to the nation’s senior player-of-the-year for NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball. Included among the male nominees are Kansas seniors Keith Langford, Aaron Miles, and Wayne Simien.

The award’s organizing committee announced the list of candidates today. From that list, a national media committee will select 10 Finalists for the award next February. When the season reaches the NCAA Tournament in March, nationwide fan balloting will be coupled with results from voting by coaches and media to determine the male and female winner. Legendary sportscaster Dick Enberg, who initiated the idea for the award and now serves as Honorary Chairman, announces the winner during the CBS telecast of the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The male candidates include two First-Team All-Americans from last season who returned for their senior year – Lawrence Roberts of Mississippi State and Ryan Gomes of Providence. The list has representatives from 13 different conferences, led by the Atlantic Coast Conference with six nominees. Four universities have multiple players on the list. Kansas, the nation’s top-ranked preseason team, has three seniors among the 30 candidates. Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech and Arizona each have two players.

The list of women’s candidates includes representatives from 10 conferences. The Big 12 Conference leads the way with six, including two players each from Kansas State and Texas. Tennessee and Rutgers also placed two athletes on the list. Last season’s women’s All-America First and Seconds teams were all seniors, but three Third-Teamers head the 2004-05 nominee list – Shyra Ely of Tennessee, Kendra Wecker of Kansas State and Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers.

The Senior Class Award – an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School – was launched in the 2001-02 college basketball season. It is designed to honor the attributes of seniors who remain committed to their university and elect to pursue the many rewards that a senior season can bring.

“The award is designed to return the prestige and dignity of being a senior college basketball player,” Enberg said. “It’s not intended to say that leaving early for pro basketball is wrong, rather to celebrate those who do decide to return for a senior season.”

The remarkable story of Shane Battier returning to lead Duke to the national championship in 2002 inspired the inception of the award. The inaugural men ‘s award winner was Juan Dixon of Maryland, followed by David West of Xavier in 2003 and Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph’s in 2004.

A women’s award was also established to encourage a continued emphasis on senior leadership. Sue Bird of Connecticut was the first women’s winner, followed by LaToya Thomas of Mississippi State and Duke’s Alana Beard.

“Bayer is committed to supporting the educational process of our nation’s young people,” said Jeff Gaidos, Vice President – Marketing, Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division. “College basketball provides many life lessons for student athletes. We are thrilled to honor those players who capitalize on the full opportunities available as a collegian.”

The Bayer Advantage Senior Class Award winners will receive their awards at the fourth annual Tribute Gala, scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 2005 in Kansas City. The event is hosted by the Pride of Kansas City Foundation industry.

2004-05 Bayer Advantage® Senior CLASS Award Candidates


Player – School

Taylor Coppenrath – University of Vermont

Travis Diener – Marquette University

B.J. Elder – Georgia Tech University

Daniel Ewing – Duke University

Channing Frye – University of Arizona

Ryan Gomes – Providence College

Joey Graham – Oklahoma State University

Danny Granger – University of New Mexico

Michael Harris – Rice University

Chuck Hayes – University of Kentucky

Chris Hill – Michigan State University

Julius Hodge – North Carolina State

Keith Jackson – Xavier University


David Lee – University of Florida

Jamaal Levy – Wake Forest University

John Lucas, Jr. – Oklahoma State University

Jason Maxiell – University of Cincinnati

Juan Mendez – Niagara University


Spencer Nelson – Utah State University

Roger Powell, Jr. – University of Illinois

Lawrence Roberts – Mississippi State University

Luke Schenscher – Georgia Tech University


Salim Stoudamire – University of Arizona

Chris Thomas – University of Notre Dame

Ronny Turiaf – Gonzaga University

Hakim Warrick – Syracuse University

Jawad Williams – University of North Carolina


Player – School

Jacqueline Batteast – University of Notre Dame Nikita Bell – University of North Carolina Steffanie Blackmon – Baylor University Natasha Brackett – Auburn University Ashley Burke – Gonzaga University Jamie Carey – University of Texas Jessalyn Deveny – Boston College Shyra Ely – University of Tennessee Katie Feenstra – Liberty University Kristin Haynie – Michigan State University Sandora Irvin – Texas Christian University Dionnah Jackson – University of Oklahoma Temeka Johnson – Louisiana State University Lauri Koehn – Kansas State University Cathrine Kraayeveld – University of Oregon Sancho Lyttle – University of Houston Kristen Mann – California – Santa Barbara Caity Matter – Ohio State University Janel McCarville – University of Minnesota Jessica Moore – University of Connecticut Loree Moore – University of Tennessee Chelsea Newton – Rutgers University Cappie Pondexter – Rutgers University Heather Schreiber – University of Texas Charlene Smith – DePaul University Kelley Suminski – Stanford University Kendra Wecker – Kansas State University Dee-Dee Wheeler – University of Arizona Tan White – Mississippi State University Tanisha Wright – Penn State University