O'Neill on Naismith Trophy Watch List
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior guard Jennifer O’Neill was selected to the prestigious 2014-15 Naismith Trophy preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Tuesday.
The 50-player 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 2014-2015 college basketball season. The Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 6, 2015, in Tampa, Fla.
The Bronx, N.Y., native currently leads the eighth-ranked Wildcats in scoring at 15.6 points per game, which ranks seventh in the Southeastern Conference. She has eight games with double-figure scoring this season, including two with 20 or more. She was named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament Team after helping the Wildcats (8-1) win the event with 15.3 points per game.
O’Neill, a preseason All-SEC First Team selection, currently ranks No. 23 on UK’s all-time scoring list and needs just 31 more to tie teammate Bria Goss at No. 22. She also is sixth on UK’s career list for 3-point field goals made with 157 and 10th in career 3-point field goal percentage, shooting .379 percent.
O’Neill is one of eight players on the list from the SEC. Joining her are Alaina Coates (South Carolina), Bashaara Graves (Tennessee), Isabelle Harrison (Tennessee), Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina), Courtney Walker (Texas A&M), Aleighsa Welch (South Carolina) and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina). The SEC ranked second with eight nominees, only trailing the Atlantic Coast Conference.
On February 11, the Naismith voting academy narrows the list to the top 30 based on athletic performance. In March, the voting academy selects the four finalists who will go the final ballot. The winner is selected by a board of selectors vote in conjunction with fan voting.
The Wildcats return to the court Friday, Dec. 12 against Middle Tennessee State at 9 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network and broadcast live on the UK Radio Network.
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