Jan. 15, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- A strong start this season for Tennessee's Ariel Massengale has earned the junior inclusion on the watch list of candidates for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame released the list of candidates on Wednesday for an award that recognizes the top point guard in women's NCAA Division I college basketball. Those in consideration exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
The five-foot-seven Massengale, who hails from Bolingbrook, Ill., has shown tremendous improvement in her third season with the Lady Vols. She is enjoying career-best averages of 13.2 points and 5.9 assists per game and has tallied 95 assists compared to 37 turnovers in 16 games. She ranks No. 2 in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.6), is No. 3 in assists per game (5.9) and ranks No. 4 in free throw percentage (83.1).
Massengale has scored in double figures 11 times this season and has recorded two points/assists double-doubles. She recorded career bests of 28 points vs. Georgia and 13 assists against Virginia this season. The assist total tied for the third-most in school history.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame became the new host of the Nancy Lieberman Award in October 2013 after the Rotary Club of Detroit managed it for several years.
"We are honored to have the opportunity to award a young athlete that shows the same sort of dedication to the game of basketball as the legendary Nancy Lieberman," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "This award is our chance to recognize some truly extraordinary point guards in women's college basketball."
The Hall of Fame appointed a premier Selection Committee made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers to review the candidates. The list will be narrowed down to a final 20 in February, then final five by March. The Lieberman Award winner will be announced during Final Four weekend activities.
"It's amazing to be able to have my name associated with some of the best point guards and most well-rounded female athletes at the college level," Lieberman said. "This is the first year the award is hosted by the Hall of Fame and I think candidates will be even more aware of how prestigious this honor is."
Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include last year's recipient Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Sue Bird (Connecticut), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut), Lindsey Harding (Duke), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga), Temeka Johnson (LSU), Kristi Toliver (Maryland), Ivory Latta (North Carolina), and Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State).
2014 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List
Kacie Cassell, University of Akron
Calli Berna, University of Arkansas
Odyssey Sims, Baylor University
Brittany Boyd, University of California
Bria Hartley, University of Connecticut
Senee Shearer, University of Detroit Mercy
Chelsea Gray, Duke University
Jerica Coley, Florida International University
Yashira Delgado, Florida State University
Damika Martinez, Iona College
Samantha Logic, University of Iowa
Lexie Brown, University of Maryland
Valencia McFarland, University of Mississippi
Ashley Deary, Northwestern University
Tiffany Bias, Oklahoma State University
Fantasia Hilliard, Sacramento State University
Keena Mays, Southern Methodist University
Amber Orrange, Stanford University
Natasha Cloud, Saint Joseph's University
Jamierra Faulkner, University of Southern Mississippi
Ariel Massengale, University of Tennessee
Jennifer Newsome, University of Tennessee at Martin
Jordan Jones, Texas A&M University
Andola Dortch, University of Toledo
Joanna Harden, Troy University
Jennifer Schlott, Utah State University
Chelsea Douglas, Wake Forest University
Rebecca Henricson, Western Illinois University
Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop University
*This list is fluid - players can play their way onto and off of the Watch List and the Final 20*