March 7, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky junior guard A'dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) has been named one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, as announced Wednesday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The national ballot will be mailed to Wooden Award voters this week, with voting beginning March 12. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of 15 student-athletes who are the final contenders for women's college basketball's most prestigious honor.
Mathies, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, is leading the Wildcats to one of their most successful seasons in school history. UK won its first SEC regular season championship since 1982 with a school-record 13-3 mark in league play. The Wildcats are 25-6 overall and have now won 25-plus games for three consecutive seasons for the first time ever.
Over the last three seasons, Kentucky has gone 35-13 in SEC play, the best three-year conference mark in school history. At home during that time, Kentucky has been a formidable team, holding an impressive 48-2 mark in Lexington. UK was the only school in the SEC to go undefeated at home this season with a 16-0 clip. The Wildcats' current 20-game home winning streak is tied for the fourth longest in the country.
Mathies leads the Wildcats in scoring (15.7 points per game), 3-point field goal percentage (.381) and steals (2.7 steals per game). The Louisville, Ky., native is second on the team in rebounds (5.3 rebounds per game), 3-point field goals made (48), and assists (2.5 assists per game).
Amongst her SEC peers, Mathies is second in the league in scoring, second in steals, third in 3-point field goal percentage, tied for eighth in 3-point field goals made and 11th in offensive rebounds. Mathies has reached double figures in scoring in every game but six this season, and has 11 games of 20 or more points. Her best game of the season came against Tennessee as she poured in a career-high 34 points and hit the game-winning basket with less than five seconds left to snap Tennessee's 36-game SEC winning streak. Mathies' 34 points were the most points scored by a Wildcat since 1987.
In addition to being named the SEC Player of the Year, Mathies also was named to the All-SEC first team and All-SEC Defensive Team.
Mathies is one of two SEC players on the prestigious Wooden Award ballot, along with Tennessee's Shekinna Stricklen. Mathies also is on the watch list for the Naismith Trophy, the Wade Trophy, and the USBWA Player of the Year.
The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala, will take place April 6, and will honor winners, All-Americans and the Legends of Coaching winner Geno Auriemma of Connecticut.
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976 and named after the Hall of Fame player, coach and teacher, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Blake Griffin ('09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09 and '11). BYU's Jimmer Fredette and Moore were the Wooden Award winners in 2011.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award's name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Gala.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5231 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.