Oct. 8, 2013
ATLANTA -- The Women's Basketball Coaches Association released its 2013-14 "Wade Watch" list of candidates on Tuesday, and Tennessee's Meighan Simmons and Bashaara Graves are included in that preseason collection of the nation's top 25 players.
Now in its 37th year, The Wade Trophy is named in honor of the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. Regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball," the award is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) and the WBCA.
Tennessee is one of five schools with more than one player on the list. The others are California, Connecticut, Duke and Notre Dame. The Lady Vols have two of the SEC's four members of the Wade Trophy's list of preseason candidates.
The preseason list is composed of top NCAA Division I women's basketball players who best embody Wade's spirit from 18 different institutions and seven conferences. A committee of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States compiled the list using the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team, and overall playing ability.
Simmons, the defending SEC Co-Player of the Year and a WBCA Honorable Mention All-American in 2013, finished second in the SEC last season with a 16.8 scoring average. The 5-foot-9 senior was a third-team All-America selection by both Associated Press and Full Court after scoring in double figures 23 times and helping lead UT to an SEC regular-season title and the NCAA Elite Eight.
Graves, meanwhile, was the 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year, a first-team All-SEC selection and also a WBCA Honorable Mention All-American. The 6-2 power forward averaged 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds, and posted 10 double-doubles, with three of them coming against Notre Dame, Stanford and Louisville. She was named Full Court National Freshman of the Year and first-team Full Court All-American a year ago.
Here is the complete list of preseason candidates for the 2014 Wade Trophy in alphabetical order:
Player // Institution // Position // Year
Natalie Achonwa // Notre Dame // Forward // Senior
Rachel Banham // Minnesota // Guard // Junior
Brittany Boyd // California // Guard // Junior
Gennifer Brandon // California // Forward // Senior
Jerica Coley // FIU // Guard // Senior
Stefanie Dolson // Connecticut // Center // Senior
Aaryn Ellenberg // Oklahoma // Guard // Senior
Bashaara Graves // Tennessee // Forward // Sophomore
Chelsea Gray // Duke // Guard // Senior
Bria Hartley // Connecticut // Guard // Senior
Jordan Hooper // Nebraska // Forward // Senior
Maggie Lucas // Penn State // Guard // Senior
Tyaunna Marshall // Georgia Tech // Guard // Senior
Kayla McBride // Notre Dame // Guard // Senior
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis // Connecticut // Forward // Junior
Chiney Ogwumike // Stanford // Forward // Senior
Theresa Plaisance // LSU // Forward // Senior
Ebony Rowe // Middle Tennessee // Forward // Senior
Shoni Schimmel // Louisville // Guard // Senior
Meighan Simmons // Tennessee // Guard // Senior
Odyssey Sims // Baylor // Guard // Senior
DeNesha Stallworth // Kentucky // Forward // Senior
Breanna Stewart // Connecticut // Forward // Sophomore
Alyssa Thomas // Maryland // Forward // Senior
Elizabeth Williams // Duke // Center-Forward //Junior
About the NAGWS
The National Association for Girls and Women in Sport was established to develop and deliver equitable and quality sport opportunities for ALL girls and women through relevant research, advocacy, leadership development, educational strategies, and programming in a manner that promotes social justice and change.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit WBCA.org.