Angie Bjorklund honored by SEC

Tennessee forward Angie Bjorklund garnered both SEC Freshman of the Week and Lady Vol Athlete of the Week honors on Tuesday. This marks the fourth time this season that the rookie three-point threat has been so honored by the conference. Also announced Tuesday was that junior forward Candace Parker was among the finalists for the Naismith Trophy.

Angie Bjorklund, a native of Spokane Valley, Wash., sank seven three-pointers against Arkansas to tie the school record currently shared by Shanna Zolman for the third time this season. Bjorklund finished the game with a career-high 29 points, the fourth-most in a contest by a Tennessee rookie. She was named the Lady Vol Player of the Game for the fifth time this season following her efforts against the Lady Razorbacks.

At Duke, the 6'0 sharpshooter gave the Lady Vols their first points of the night and coupled with fellow freshman Vicki Baugh to register 10 of Tennessee's first 12 points. Bjorklund finished the contest with 13 points, the last three of which came on a rushed, fall-away three-pointer with Blue Devil defenders in her face as the "Cameron Crazies" prematurely counted down the shot clock.

No other rookie in the SEC has been named the league's newcomer of the week more than once this season. Bjorklund's four citations tie for the second-most in the history of the award, as teammate Candace Parker nabbed the honor five times, Sha Brooks of Florida earned it four times during the 2005-06 season and Georgia's Ashley Houts was so named on four occasions during the 2006-07 campaign.

The Lady Vol Athlete of the Week is selected by a vote among Tennessee's media relations staff.

After snapping Duke's 24-game home winning streak with a thrilling 67-64 victory over the Blue Devils on Monday night, the Lady Vols travel to Oxford, Miss., for a 7 p.m. Central tip-off with the Lady Rebels on Thursday. Tennessee leads the series 31-7 and has claimed 15 straight wins over Ole Miss, including a 98-62 victory on March 27, 2007, to advance to the NCAA Final Four.

Three former Naismith High School Player of the Year winners are among 31 candidates vying for the 2008 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.

Tennessee's Candace Parker and Oklahoma's Courtney Paris, both finalists for the Naismith Trophy a year ago and two-time All-Americans, join Connecticut freshman Maya Moore on the Naismith mid-season list.

The three collectively have won the past five Naismith National High School trophies. Parker (2003, 2004) and Moore (2006, 2007) hold the distinction as the only female athletes ever to win the award twice, with Paris claiming the trophy in 2005.

The women's list, which includes 31 candidates because of a tie, was voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season, and the list was narrowed down from the preseason list of 50 candidates who were announced at the beginning of the season.

"It gives us tremendous pride to see our former high school winners continue to improve and take their game to the next level, and become candidates for the college award," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president.

"Additionally, there is tremendous balance as evidenced by the number of seniors and underclassmen, and the fact we had a tie at number 30. Our voters will have a difficult time selecting the winner for the most prestigious award in all of college basketball."

Again this year AT&T will give fans an unprecedented voice in selecting the winner. Fan voting, through the power and ease of text messaging, will account for 25 percent of the selection process. This program sets the standard in college athletics for integrating fans into the voting process and providing them with more input than with any other major collegiate sports award.

Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until April 5. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. The Naismith Trophy winner will be announced April 7 at the 2008 NCAA Final Four in Tampa.

For more information and for the full list of finalists, visit www.naismithawards.com.


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