The list is composed of 30 student athletes who, based on last year¹s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for the Wooden Award. These top 30 candidates are comprised of returning players, although transfers, freshmen and other players who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered.
In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the mid-season top 20 list, followed in March by the official voting ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Humphrey, a 6-3, sophomore forward from Gainesville, Ga., is looking to improve upon a freshman campaign when she captured virtually every award she could.
Humphrey was named co-National Freshman of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association last spring. She also was tabbed the SEC Freshman of the Year in balloting of both league coaches and media and was one of only two unanimous first-team All-SEC picks in separate voting of coaches and media. During the post-season, Humphrey was voted to the All-SEC Tournament and All-Chattanooga NCAA Regional teams.
Last season, Humphrey was the only player in the SEC to rank among the league's top-10 statistical leaders in scoring (third), rebounding (fifth), field goal percentage (third) and free throw percentage (ninth). She led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring (19.0 ppg), rebounds (8.4 rpg), blocks (1.1 bpg) and field goal percentage (56.1 pct.). She also connected on 39.5 percent of her field goals and 77.2 percent of her free throws.
The Lady Bulldogs return all five starters and four more letterwinners from last year's squad which finished 24-10 and advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament. In addition, Georgia will welcome a group of newcomers which includes: 6-5 Angel Robinson, a consensus first-team prep All-American; 6-6 Reicina Russell, a sophomore transfer who was a Big Ten All-Freshman performer for Penn State in 2003-04; and Danielle Taylor, the MVP of the 2005 Georgia North/South All-Star game.
Georgia is set to open the 2005-06 season by facing defending national champion Baylor in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday, Nov. 13. The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Bears will square off at 12:00 ET on espn2, with LSU taking on Texas Tech in the second game of the doubleheader.
The 2006 Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men¹s and Women¹s Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 8, 2006, and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the Awards ceremony and will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund in their name to their university¹s general scholarship fund.
The Wooden Award Scholarship Fund was established in 2002 by Applied Materials and corporate partners through the California Community Foundation (CCF) to honor Coach Wooden¹s dedication as an educator and mentor. TheScholarship Fund distributed $10,000 last year to each university represented by a men¹s and women¹s Wooden Award All-American Team finalist (for a total of $100,000). Additional donations to Applied Materials¹ John Wooden Scholarship Fund can be made by contacting the scholarship fund through the CCF(www.calfund.org).