Harris and Phillips Selected to Naismith Award Midseason Top-30 List
Feb. 25, 2010
CINCINNATI – Redshirt junior forward Amber Harris and junior center Ta’Shia Phillips have been selected to the 30-member 2009-10 Naismith Trophy Mid-Season Watch List as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Thursday. The frontline tandem has led the No. 5/5 Xavier University women’s basketball team to a 23-3 record, including a spotless 13-0 mark in Atlantic 10 action. XU recently clinched its second-consecutive A-10 Regular Season Crown and the team is currently riding a 14-game winning streak.
XU is one of just four teams (Connecticut, Ohio State and Stanford) to be represented with multiple players on the list.
The Musketeers’ No. 5/5 ranking is the best in program history and marks the first time a team not playing in one of the six power conferences has achieved a top-five ranking since La. Tech turned the trick during the 2000-01 season. XU is the first A-10 team to be ranked in the top-five since Penn State in 1991.
This marks the second year in-a-row that Phillips has been so honored. Harris was a member of the 2008-09 Naismith Award Preseason Watch List but suffered an injury and was forced to sit out the entire 2008-09 campaign. Harris was recently selected to the John R. Wooden Award Top-20 List as well.
Harris leads the team at 15.4 points and is second at 8.9 rebounds per game. Xavier’s all-time leader in blocked shots has recorded 11 double-doubles this season and has scored in double-figures in all but one game. She earned a spot on both the All-Atlantic 10 First Team and the league’s All-Defensive Team.
Phillips is second on the squad at 13.7 points and leads the Atlantic 10 with 10.8 rebounds per game. She also leads the Atlantic 10 with a .606 field goal percentage and is in the top-10 nationally in that category. She recently became Xavier’s all-time leading rebounder and has extended that all-time mark to 1,039 career boards.
Xavier will conclude the 2009-10 regular season when it travels to New York City to take on Fordham. Game time is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Musketeers will then look to win their third Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship in the last four years as that event will take place from March 5-8 in Upper Marlboro, Md. XU has earned the No. 1 seed for that event for the second-straight year.
The list was voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season.
The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the women’s college basketball player of the year. This year, the award will be presented at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
“The consistent theme among these candidates is that they display hard work, dedication and passion for basketball both on and off the court said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. “They all exhibit the outstanding traits that make them worthy for consideration of the prestigious Naismith Trophy.”
As a presenting sponsor since 2005, AT&T has set the standard in fan participation in determining this year’s winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results – more than any other national college basketball award.
Beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers – and sports fans on other wireless networks – will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice. Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 3, 2010. 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. Standard messaging rates apply.
“AT&T applauds these student-athletes’ for their performances this season,” said Jamie Kerr, senior manager, AT&T National Sponsorships. “Through our text message voting program, we’re giving college basketball fans – arguably the most enthusiastic sports fans – the opportunity once again to help determine this year’s award recipient.”
2010 Naismith Women’s Midseason Candidates: