Delle Donne Named to Women's Basketball Wooden Preseason Top 30 List for Second-Consecutive Season
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
LOS ANGELES – For the second consecutive preseason, University of Delaware All-American basketball standout Elena Delle Donne has been named to the Women’s Preseason Top 30 List for the John R. Wooden National Player of the Year Award.
Delle Donne, a Wilmington, Del. native who recently earned a Gold Medal with Team USA at the World University Games in China, is joined on the list by fellow Colonial Athletic Association competitor Courtney Hurt from Virginia Commonwealth University.
The 6-5 Delle Donne (at right) is coming off a highly successful season in 2010-11 despite missing 12 games due to illness. Delle Donne became the fastest player in CAA and Delaware history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark, doing so in just 38 career games.
Delle Donne helped lead her team on a spirited run to the CAA finals after entering the tournament as the No. 7 seed. The Blue Hens, behind Delle Donne’s 25.3 points per game in the tournament, reached the finals for the first time since the 2004-05 season. The CAA All-Tournament selection also averaged 8.5 rebounds per game, posting back-to-back double-doubles in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
With a second-straight 20-win season, Delle Donne helped lead the Hens to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament for a second straight year. Delaware fell to the tournament’s eventual champion, Toledo, 58-55, in the first round.
Delle Donne led the team with 25.3 points per game, scoring over 500 points for a second straight season. Her average would have led the nation, but due to her 12 games missed, she did not play in three-quarters of Delaware’s games, which is required for the national statistic rankings.
A two-time All-American, Delle Donne was deadly from the free throw line in 2010-11, hitting 94.4 percent (167-177) of her attempts, including a school-record 52 straight. On 13 occasions during the year, Delle Donne knocked down 100 percent of her free throws, while setting a Kaplan Arena (William & Mary) record after hitting 17 of her 19 attempts.
Delle Donne was second on the squad in rebound average, pulling down 7.8 boards per game. Over the course of the season, the standout posted seven double-doubles, including a run of three games in a row shortly after returning from her illness.
In her first four games of the 2010-11 season, Delle Donne boasted a points per game average of 34.3, including a 41-point effort on the road at Yale. Delle Donne scored 20 or more points on 18 occasions, missing the mark just four times.
A force on defense as well, Delle Donne averaged a conference-best 2.6 blocks per game, including a season and career-high seven in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament. She averaged 1.0 steals per game and had one of the best assist/turnover ratios in the conference at 0.9, coming up with 40 assists and just 45 turnovers.
In addition to Hurt, who Delaware will see just once in conference play this season, the Hens will see other Wooden Preseason List selection Alex Bentley from Penn State. The Hens could also face Maryland's duo of Lynetta Kizer and Alyssa Thomas at the Terrapin Classic hosted by Maryland.
Under the direction of 16-year head coach Tina Martin, the Blue Hens will open their 41st season on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. vs. Rhode Island at the Bob Carpenter Center.
2011-12 John R. Wooden Preseason Top 30 List
LaSondra Barrett (LSU), Alex Bentley (Penn State), Cierra Bravard (Florida State), Carolyn Davis (Kansas), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut), Chelsea Gray (Duke), Brittney Griner (Baylor), Keisha Hampton (DePaul), Bria Hartley (Connecticut), Tiffany Hayes (Connecticut), Courtney Hurt (VCU), Glory Johnson (Tennessee), Shenise Johnson (Miami), Lynetta Kizer (Maryland), Natalie Novosel (Notre Dame), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford), Chiney Ogwuumike (Stanford), Devereaux Peters (Notre Dame), Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State), Jamie Printy (Iowa), Justine Raterman (Dayton), Sugar Rodgers (Georgetown), Shoni Schimmel (Louisville), Odyssey Sims (Baylor), Shekinna Stricklin (Tennessee), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland), Tyra White (Texas A&M), Riquna Williams (Miami).