MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–West Virginia University’s Bria Holmes was named to the John R. Wooden Award Women’s Preseason Top 30 list on Tuesday.
The list is made up of 30 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. The list is chosen by a preseason poll of national women’s college basketball media members.
Last season UCONN’s Breanna Stewart won the honor. She headlines this year’s preseason Top 30 list and is looking to become the fifth women’s player to win the award twice.
Stewart averaged 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists for the Huskies. She has won three national titles at UConn.
This is the second year that Holmes was named to the preseason watch list. The senior guard was named to the 2015 Preseason All-Big 12 team. She is a two-time unanimous All-Big 12 selection and a WBCA All-America Honorable Mention.
In Monday’s victory over Coppin State, Holmes scored 23 points. She is
currently 14th on WVU’s all-time scoring list with 1,444 points.
“Bria Homes is a tremendous player for our program,” coach Mike Carey said. “There is no doubt she is one of the best players in the country. She is deserving of this recognition.”
Holmes is one of three Big 12 players on the watch list. Baylor’s Nina Davis and Niya Johnson are the other two.
The defending NCAA champion Huskies feature three players on the list: Moriah Jefferson, Morgan Tuck and Stewart. South Carolina also has three candidates: Alaina Coates, Mitchell and A’ja Wilson.
Baylor, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Texas A&M each have a pair of players selected.
Seven conferences are represented on the list with the SEC boasting seven selections, followed by the ACC and Big Ten with six apiece. The American Athletic Conference has four selections, the Big 12 and Pac-12 have three apiece and the Atlantic 10 has one pick.
The Preseason Top 30 list includes 23 upperclassmen, including 12 seniors. No freshman made the list.
Players that do not make the preseason list are eligible for the preseason list and the National Ballot consists of 15 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.
The Wooden Award All-American Team, consisting of the nation’s top five players, will be announced the week of the Final Four.