KU's McCray Named to Preseason Wooden List

LOS ANGELES – Kansas senior All-American Danielle McCray was named a preseason candidate for the 2009-10 women's basketball John R. Wooden Award on Thursday.

Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, John R. Wooden Award Chairman and founder, announced the list of 31 student athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
 
"It is a great honor to be chosen as a Wooden Award preseason candidate," said Danielle McCray, who earned Honorable Mention All-America honors last season. "I have a great amount of respect for all of the players on the list, as well as for Coach Wooden, so to even be considered is a great feeling."
 
McCray, who is one of four returning starters for the Jayhawks entering the 2009-10 season, averaged a team-leading 21.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game as a junior on her way to earning All Big 12 First Team honors. The Olathe, Kan., native led the Big 12 in three-point field goal shooting, while also ranking in the top 10 in the conference in 10 statistical categories.
 
After leading KU to the 2009 WNIT Championship game and a 22-14 overall mark, McCray earned a spot on the 2009 USA Basketball World University Games Team and traveled to Belgrade, Serbia, helping lead the American's to a gold medal. McCray turned in 12.0 points per game, ranking second on the USA team in scoring.
 
McCray is the first player in Kansas history to be named a candidate for the preseason Wooden Award, which will honor a women's basketball player for the seventh year.
 
The list contains 31 players, not the traditional 30, because the playing status of North Carolina's Jessica Breland is uncertain due to a possible medical redshirt year. Transfers, freshmen and 2009 medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for December's midseason list and the official ballot released in March.

The breadth of talent across the country is shown by the record number of NCAA Division I conferences (12) highlighted on the list. The Big 10 conference has five candidates, followed by the Big East, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-10 with four apiece, the SEC (3), West Coast (2), America East (1), Atlantic 10 (1), CAA (1), Mountain West (1) and Sun Belt (1).
 
In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the National 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.  The Women's Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round during the NCAA Tournament.
 
The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

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