Full Court Press Names All-American Teams

While some media organizations and publications offered up their All-American teams with the season still in progress, <i>Full Court Press</i> waited until after the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament to today unveil their top 15 college women's basketball performers. Stanford's <b>Candice Wiggins</b> is the top freshman to be honored.

By season's end, the consensus on who the top players are is pretty general, and we're not exactly breaking a lot of ground here. Still, we like to wait until after the tournament is complete because the season isn't really over until, well, it's over.

That's why Sophia Young was missing from some all-America teams, or at least first teams, but not from ours.

Also, we don't pick by position (there are no guards in the first five). In alphabetical order ...

First team

Seimone Augustus (LSU) 6-1 junior wing: Augustus is one of those players who makes it look so easy you wonder why she doesn't do it every time. Maybe it's really hard, and it just looks easy -- but regardless, she does everything (score, rebound, pass, defend) often enough that she's won several player of the year awards and is a prime member of our first team.

Monique Currie (Duke) 6-0 junior wing: Currie isn't as smooth as Augustus but is just as effective. And who knows how much more effective she might have been had she not been battling a stress fracture almost all season? And what if her point guard, Lindsey Harding, had been on the team instead of on the sideline? Currie would have been the first overall pick in the WNBA draft had she decided to come out, but instead she's returning to Duke for one more season, much to the chagrin of the rest of the ACC.

Jessica Davenport (Ohio State) 6-5 sophomore center: Not quite as consistent as you might like, but when she's on, she's pretty much unstoppable. If she continues to work at her game, her ceiling is sky-high, and she's the successor to Lisa Leslie on the National Team. Between now and then, though, she's going to guarantee that Ohio State stays among the country's elite.Janel McCarville (Minnesota) 6-2 senior center: Strong, quick and fierce, McCarville lacks only a consistent outside shot to be a WNBA all-star. As it is, she was a force in the college game and proved this year that the Golden Gophers were more than just Lindsay Whalen and a bunch of supporting actresses.

Sophia Young (Baylor) 6-1 junior forward: If FCP awarded a player of the year, she'd be it. Virtually unguardable, Young is startlingly quick for her size and when she's hitting the free-throw line jumper, the defense has no options. Young also showed her mental toughness in the NCAA title game, struggling early but never letting up en route to the championship.

Second team

Ashley Earley (Vanderbilt) 5-10 senior forward: OK, you don't think of her when the big names are mentioned, partly because she doesn't have a position and partly because she doesn't do anything spectacular but play the game really well. Try these numbers: 18.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 63.9% shooting (the last two better than Augustus, in the same league). Earley propelled her team to a national ranking in high school, and did the same in college. Supposedly, she's not a great pro prospect, but I wouldn't bet against her.

Sandora Irvin (TCU) 6-3 senior center: A shotblocking machine who also averaged 20 and 12, Irvin has bloodlines too: She's the niece of former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin. Her team's inconsistency was reflected by her play, and though she had some great nights, she also had some that belied her talent.

Kendra Wecker (Kansas State) 5-11 senior forward: There may be some questions about her quickness in the WNBA, but she was plenty quick enough in college. A great athlete who could shoot, rebound and defend, Wecker was about the only weapon for K-State, which went as far as it did only because of her.

Tan White (Mississippi State) 5-7 senior guard: She might be the first pick in the WNBA draft, but even if she's not, her incredible numbers in the SEC are testament enough to her ability. The 23.5 ppg is dazzling, but how does a 5-7 guard get 7.7 rpg in the SEC? And she tossed in 2.7 spg just for good measure.

Candice Wiggins (Stanford) 5-11 freshman guard: Wiggins did just about everything for the Cardinal, and made Stanford fans forget Nicole Powell more quickly than they thought possible. She can shoot threes, penetrate, handle and defend, and she was the Pac-10's Player of the Year as a freshman. Barring injury, she's pretty much a lock to be in this story for the next three years.

Third team

Tasha Humphrey (Georgia) 6-3 freshman forward: Surrounded by talent that couldn't quite click, Humphrey simply ignored all distractions and did whatever needed to be done. She even hit 37.5% of her threes, and it seemed like whenevr Georgia needed a big play, she'd deliver. And she has three more years ...

Tamara James (Miami FL) 5-10 junior forward: OK, so the Hurricanes weren't very good -- without James, they might have disappeared completely. James scored 22.3 ppg, grabbed 6.9 rpg and shot 48% from the field for a team that pretty much had nothing else. And remember, that 5-10 is pretty generous.

Temeka Johnson (LSU) 5-3 senior guard: Johnson showed that size can be overrated as she was the heart of the Final Four Tigers. Quick as a blink, fearless going to the hoop and capable of hitting the big jumper, Johnson was the leader of one of the best teams in the country.

Cappie Pondexter (Rutgers) 5-9 junior guard: Had Pondexter played the full season, she would have been first team, but she sat out the first eight games for still undisclosed reasons. When she came back she was out of shape, but by season's end, she controlled the game -- and drove Rutgers deep in the tournament.

Kim Smith and Shona Thorburn (Utah), 6-1 junior forward and 5-10 junior guard: These Canadian Utes might as well be an entry, since both are superb players who honed their games in relative obscurity growing up, and have continued on that path at Utah. But rest assured, WNBA scouts are watching, and the quick-release Smith and the slick-passing Thorburn will get plenty of attention next season.


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