Delaware Standout Delle Donne Named to Naismith Early-Season National Player of the Year Watch List
File Photo Courtesy of Chris Permar
ATLANTA, Ga. –All-American Elena Delle Donne (at right) of the 24th ranked University of Delaware women’s basketball team has been named to the 2011-12 Naismith Early-Season National Player of the Year Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced this week.
The watch list includes the top women’s college basketball players from 35 schools around the country and was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors.
The criteria for being selected is based on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2011-12 college basketball season.
The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded in March 2012 at the NCAA Women's Final Four in Denver.
Delle Donne, the Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Player of the Year and an Associated Press Preseason All-American, currently leads all NCAA Division I players in scoring, averaging 30.2 points. She also averages 10.8 rebounds per game and leads the team with 15 blocked shots.
The 6-foot-5 junior scored a season-high 40 points in the Hens’ upset over then-ranked No. 11 Penn State. She holds nine of the top 10 individual scoring games in school history and became the fastest player in CAA and Delaware history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, doing so in just her 38th career game.
Delle Donne is one of two Colonial Athletic Association players on the list, joining Shante Evans of Hofstra University.
Among the players named to the list are Connecticut’s Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley, and Tiffany Hayes, Penn State’s duo of Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas, Baylor standouts Brittney Griner and Odyssey Smith, and Maryland’s Lynetta Kizer and Alyssa Thomas.
Delle Donne was also named to the Preseason Wooden Award and Wade Trophy Watch Lists this past summer after helping Team USA earn a Gold Medal at the World University Games in China. She led the team in scoring with 15.7 points per game and helped the Americans post a perfect 6-0 record in the tournament.
During the Blue Hens' 2010-11 season, Delle Donne helped lead Delaware to the CAA tournament title game. The Blue Hens, seeded seventh in the tournament, pulled out several upsets along the way to the championship matchup with top-seeded James Madison.
Despite missing 12 games during the campaign, Delle Donne still paced Delaware in scoring, putting up 25.3 points per game. The All-American was also second in rebounding, pulling in 7.8 per game. Delle Donne also did a great deal of damage from the free throw line, connecting on 94.4 percent of her attempts, and set the school record for consecutive free throws made at 52.
Following the CAA tournament, where Delle Donne was named to the All-Tournament team, Delaware earned an at-large bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. In the first round, Delaware battled tough, but fell to the eventual WNIT champion Toledo by a score of 58-55 despite Delle Donne's 31 points.
Delle Donne was also named to the 2010-11 Naismith Preseason Watch List following her freshman season when she became the first UD player to be named an All-American after being selected to the Associated Press third team and earned honorable mention on the WBCA State Farm All-American team.
Delaware (5-0) looks to remain unbeaten as the Blue Hens host William & Mary (4-2) on Sunday at the Bob Carpenter Center in the CAA opener for both teams.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives