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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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John R. Wooden Award® Announces 2018-'19 Women's Midseason Top 25 Watch List
Posted: January 10, 2019 -- 12:52 p.m. CST
January 9, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced the John R. Wooden Award Women's Midseason Top 25 on ESPNW. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the first half of the 2018-19 season, the list comprises of 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport's most prestigious honor.
On the 2019 Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List, three players make their debut on the Wooden Watch after not being named on the Preseason Top 30: Kenisha Bell of Minnesota, Rhyne Howard of Kentucky, and Aari McDonald of Arizona. Four schools have multiple players on the list, led by Connecticut (Napheesa Collier, Crystal Dangerfield, and Katie Lou Samuelson) and Notre Dame (Arike Ogunbowale, Jessica Shepard, and Jackie Young) with three selections each, followed by two schools with two selections each: Baylor (Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox) and Oregon (Ruthy Hebard and Sabrina Ionescu).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with six selections on the Midseason Top 25; followed by the ACC and SEC with five selections each; and the American, Big 12 and Big Ten with three selections apiece.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2019 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's. The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 top players in early February. Fifteen top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be submitted to voters on the Final Ballot prior to the NCAA Tournament. Every year, players have made the Final Ballot that were not on the preseason or midseason lists. Voters are permitted to take into consideration the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament when casting the ballot. The Wooden Award All American Team™ will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2019 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 12, 2019.
|Kenisha Bell||Minnesota||Big Ten||5-9||Sr.||Guard|
|Kalani Brown||Baylor||Big 12||6-7||Sr.||Center|
|Bridget Carleton||Iowa State||Big 12||6-1||Sr.||Guard|
|Chennedy Carter||Texas A&M||SEC||5-7||So.||Guard|
|Kaila Charles||Maryland||Big Ten||6-1||Jr.||Guard|
|Napheesa Collier||Connecticut||The American||6-1||Sr.||Forward|
|Lauren Cox||Baylor||Big 12||6-4||Jr.||Forward|
|Crystal Dangerfield||Connecticut||The American||5-5||Jr.||Guard|
|Rennia Davis||Tennessee||SEC||6-2||So.||Guard / Forward|
|Megan Gustafson||Iowa||Big Ten||6-3||Sr.||Forward|
|Teaira McCowan||Mississippi State||SEC||6-7||Sr.||Center|
|Arike Ogunbowale||Notre Dame||ACC||5-8||Sr.||Guard|
|Katie Lou Samuelson#||Connecticut||The American||6-3||Sr.||Guard / Forward|
|Jessica Shepard||Notre Dame||ACC||6-4||Sr.||Forward|
|Destiny Slocum||Oregon State||Pac-12||5-7||So.||Guard|
|Jackie Young||Notre Dame||ACC||6-0||Jr.||Guard|
# - indicates players selected as a 2017-18 John R. Wooden Award All American®
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