Odyssey Sims (Baylor) and Aaryn Ellenberg (Oklahoma) are two of 25 candidates on the 2013-14 preseason "Wade Watch" list, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
The selection marks the third straight season that Sims is included on the preseason "Wade Watch" list. She was a finalist for the award in 2013. Former Baylor standout Brittney Griner won the past two Wade Trophies.
Sims, a returning two-time WBCA Coaches’ All-American and 2013-14 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, averaged 12.9 points, 5.3 assists per game as a junior while shooting 47.7 percent from the perimeter and 83.2 percent from the free throw line. Last season, the Irving, Texas, native ranked No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio with a mark of 2.7 while checking in at No. 25 in assists and No. 36 in steals (2.8). Sims recently returned from the USA Women’s National Team mini-camp and this past summer earned her second World University Games gold medal while receiving the tournament’s co-MVP honor. By earning her second championship, Sims became the first women’s basketball two-time gold medalist for the USA at the World University Games.
Ellenberg was an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and All-Big 12 First Team selection last season after leading the Sooners and finishing third in league scoring with 18.7 points per game. The sharpshooter hit 115 3-pointers as a junior to set OU’s single-season and career records for makes beyond the arc.
The Las Vegas native leads a squad that returns four starters from its Sweet 16 appearance in March and welcomes six newcomers in 2013-14.
Ellenberg earned a gold medal as a member of Team USA’s World University Games championship during the summer. Ellenberg started five of six games, averaging 9.2 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 38 percent (9-of-24) from 3-point range.
Now in its 37th year, The Wade Trophy is named in honor of the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. Regarded as "The Heisman of Women’s Basketball," the award is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) and the WBCA.
The preseason list is composed of top NCAA Division I women’s basketball players who best embody Wade’s spirit from 18 different institutions and seven conferences. A committee of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States compiled the list using the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team, and overall playing ability.