Dec. 20, 2008
ATLANTA - Xavier sophomore center Ta'Shia Phillips and teammate junior forward Amber Harris are named to the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T early season watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2008-09 college basketball season. The watch list does not include incoming freshmen, although those student-athletes will be considered in the first vote in February, 2009. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2009 NCAA Women's Final Four in St. Louis, MO.
"It's a tremendous thrill for us to watch high school winners grow and achieve even greater success on the college level," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "That said, it will take an amazing season for someone to emerge as the Naismith Trophy winner because the talent pool is incredibly deep. We look forward to watching this play out over the next four months."
For the sixth consecutive season, presenting sponsor AT&T will once again set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year's winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25% of the final results - more than any other national college basketball award.
In February, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its preseason list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March.
Harris has missed the early part of the season due to a preseason knee injury. Phillips leads the A-10 Conference in rebounding (11.4 rpg.) and field goal percentage (.628) while ranking seventh in scoring (14.6 ppg.). She has led Xavier to an 8-3 mark and is a preseason Wooden Award prospect.
Other notable Naismith Trophy past winners include Cheryl Miller (USC), Dawn Staley (Virginia), Lindsey Harding (Duke) and last year's winner, Parker. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's player of the year. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.