Chatman named finalist for Naismith Award

Pokey Chatman, in her second season as head coach of the LSU women's basketball team, was named as one of four finalists for the Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year, it was announced on Wednesday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Chatman is joined by Ohio State's Jim Foster, Maryland's Brenda Frese and North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell on the list of finalist.

The four finalists were chosen through a vote by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, who narrowed the mid-season list of 20 candidates down to the final four. The Board, which is comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, based its criteria on coaching performances this season.

The Women's College Coach of the Year Award winner will be named at the Naismith Awards banquet April 7 in Atlanta.

"The Naismith Award has long recognized the leadership skills required to excel in college basketball," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "Each of these finalists epitomized the ability to lead on and off the court and we congratulate them for their great seasons."

Chatman, the 2005 recipient of the Naismith Award for Women's College Coach of the Year, has had a season that closely resembles last year's award-winning campaign. The Lady Tigers have compiled a 29-2 record and captured a second consecutive SEC regular season championship.

The Lady Tigers returned to the SEC tournament title game under Chatman and, despite a loss to Tennessee in that game, LSU entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed for the second straight year.

The fifth-ranked Lady Tigers, who are seeking a third Final Four appearance in as many years, secured their spot in the San Antonio Regional Semifinals with a victory over Washington on Monday.

LSU will face No. 4 seed DePaul in the regional semifinals on Saturday at 11 a.m. CST in the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

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