LOS ANGELES -- LSU senior guard Allison Hightower has been named to the John R. Wooden Award's midseason top 21 list, which at the end of the season is presented to women's college basketball's National Player of the Year, The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced on Wednesday.
Because of a tie in the voting, 21 players were named rather than the traditional 20. Composed of the players who will compete for this season's player of the year award, the midseason list is based on individual excellence and team record during the first half of the season.
"This is a reflection how she's played on both ends of the court," LSU head coach Van Chancellor said. "She has been outstanding for us not just this season but her entire career. There's no doubt in my mind she's one of the best players in the country. She brings so much to the table and is a leader on and off of the floor for the Lady Tigers."
Hightower leads LSU in points per game (16.3), minutes per game (28.9) and steals per game (2.6). The Arlington, Texas, native has guided the Lady Tigers to a 13-2 start to the season and a 2-1 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Hightower has been LSU's leading scorer in 10 of 15 games and she has reached double-figures in all but two contests.
Hightower, a two-time SEC Player of the Week this season, ranks as the 19th-leading scorer in school history with 1,187 career points. She passed DeTrina White last week to enter the top 20 in that category. Hightower also ranks seventh in LSU career blocked shots with 85. No guard in school history has swatted more shots than Hightower.
Hightower is also on watch lists for the Naismith Trophy, the Wade Trophy and the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. She was chosen as the 2010 SEC Preseason Player of the Year by the league's coaches and media.
More than 300 voters, comprised of sports media members and college basketball experts from across the nation, will cast their votes to determine both the five-member All American Team and Player of the Year. In late March, the 10-player Wooden Award All American Team will be announced. The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winner, will take place on April 9, 2010.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Hightower and LSU resume SEC play at Ole Miss at 2 p.m. CST Sunday. The game will be televised live by College Sports Southeast (CSS) and picked up by Cox Sports Television (CST) affiliates. Live streaming video is also available at ESPN360.com, as part of the SEC's new television contact.
John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 21 List
Player , Height, Class, Position, University, Conference
Jayne Appel, 6-4, Sr., F/C, Stanford, Pac-10
Ashley Barlow, 5-9, Sr., G, Notre Dame, Big East
Tina Charles, 6-4, Sr., C, Connecticut, Big East
Alysha Clark, 5-10, Sr., F, Middle Tennessee, Sun Belt
Cetera DeGraffenreid, 5-6, Jr., G, North Carolina, ACC
Allyssa DeHaan, 6-9, Sr., C, Michigan State, Big Ten
Elena Delle Donne, 6-5, Fr., G/F, Delaware, CAA
Dawn Evans, 5-7, Jr., G, James Madison, CAA
Kelsey Griffin, 6-2, Sr., F, Nebraska, Big 12
Brittney Griner, 6-8, Fr., C, Baylor, Big 12
Amber Harris, 6-5, Jr., F, Xavier, Atlantic 10
Allison Hightower, 5-10, Sr., G, LSU, SEC
Jantel Lavender, 6-4, Jr., C, Ohio State, Big Ten
Gabriela Marginean, 6-1, Sr., F, Drexel, CAA
Maya Moore , 6-0, Jr., F, Connecticut, Big East
Kayla Pedersen, 6-4, Jr., F, Stanford, Pac-10
Brittany Ray, 5-9, Sr., G, Rutgers, Big East
Shekinna Stricklen, 6-2, So., G/F, Tennessee, SEC
Jasmine Thomas, 5-9, Jr., G, Duke, ACC
Courtney Vandersloot, 5-8, Jr., G, Gonzaga, WCC
Monica Wright, 5-11, Sr., G, Virginia, ACC