ATLANTA -- LSU senior guard Allison Hightower has been named to the preliminary watch list for the Naismith Trophy, presented to women’s college basketball’s National Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Thursday.
Hightower, a native of Arlington, Texas, has averaged 13.5 points and tallied seven steals in LSU’s first two games against Centenary and No. 24 Middle Tennessee. She scored 20 in the season-opener against the Ladies. Last season, she averaged 14.9 points per game, which ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference.
Hightower is now up for every National Player of the Year award, including the State Farm Wade Trophy and John Wooden Award. She is a preseason first-team All-SEC selection and the 2010 SEC Preseason Player of the Year as chosen by both the media and coaches.
Hightower is one of four SEC players on the watch list. Tennessee’s Shekinna Stricklen, Ole Miss’ Bianca Thomas and Georgia’s Ashley Houts.
The watch list 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 2009-10 college basketball season. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2010 NCAA Women’s Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
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.
Here is a look at Hightower’s preseason accolades:
Naismith Trophy Watch List
State Farm Wade Trophy Watch List
John Wooden Award Watch List
Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Watch List
Sporting News Preseason First Team All-American
ESPN.com Preseason Second Team All-American
SEC Preseason Player of the Year (media, coaches)
Preseason First-Team All-SEC (media, coaches)