March 28, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - One day after she was named an Associated Press first-team All-American, Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) collected two more All-America citations on Wednesday, earning a spot on the five-player John R. Wooden Award All-America Team and the 10-person United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-America Team, according to separate releases issued by the Los Angeles Athletic Club (the Wooden Award's presenting sponsor) and the USBWA.
Diggins is the first Notre Dame women's basketball player to make her way onto the Wooden Award squad, and she is the second Fighting Irish player to garner USBWA All-America accolades, following in the footsteps of Ruth Riley, who was named to the team in both 2000 and 2001.
Joining Diggins on the Wooden Award All-America Team are: Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Brittney Griner (Baylor), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford) and Julie Wojta (Wisconsin-Green Bay). This year's team will be honored during the 36th annual Wooden Award Gala on April 6 in Los Angeles, while the recipient of the 2012 John R. Wooden Award (of which Diggins is one of 15 finalists) will be announced on ESPN at the NCAA Men's Final Four in New Orleans.
Along with Diggins, the remainder of the USBWA All-America Team consists of: Delle Donne, Griner, Ogwumike, Chelsea Gray (Duke), Shenise Johnson (Miami-Fla.), A'dia Mathies (Kentucky), Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State), Odyssey Sims (Baylor) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland). These 10 players also are the finalists for the USBWA National Player of the Year, which will be announced on April 3.
It's been a whirlwind 24 hours for Diggins, who not only secured the three aforementioned All-America honors, but also was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Raleigh Regional after helping lead No. 4 (and top-seeded) Notre Dame to its second consecutive NCAA Women's Final Four appearance (and fourth overall) with an 80-49 win over No. 5 (and second-seeded) Maryland in the regional final on Tuesday night in Raleigh, N.C. In that game, Diggins recorded her first career triple-double (22 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds), the first by a Notre Dame player since 1990 and just the 13th in NCAA Championship history (the second in a regional final game, and first since Old Dominion's Anne Donovan did so in 1983).
Diggins is a finalist for every major national player-of-the-year award this season, remaining under consideration for the State Farm Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award and USBWA National Player of the Year honor. The reigning BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year and a two-time unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selection, Diggins also is among eight finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top point guard, and she is a candidate for the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team, which will be announced by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association on Saturday during NCAA Women's Final Four activities in Denver.
This season, Diggins is the only BIG EAST player to rank among the top five in the conference in three of the five major statistical categories. She leads the conference in both assists (5.8 apg. - 15th in nation) and steals (2.6 spg. - 55th in nation), and she is fourth in scoring (16.7 ppg. - 73rd in nation), while also posting a conference-best 2.17 assist-to-turnover ratio (10th in nation). What's more, she ranks among the top 15 in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (eighth - .505; 29th in nation) and free throw percentage (11th - .779).
Diggins also wrapped up the BIG EAST regular season statistical titles in assists (5.8 apg. - second Notre Dame player to win the BIG EAST assist title, and first since current Fighting Irish assistant coach Niele Ivey in 1999-2000), steals (2.6 spg.), and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3). She finished conference play among the top 15 in the BIG EAST in scoring (third - 17.8 ppg.), field goal percentage (ninth - .508) and free throw percentage (12th - .788).
Notre Dame (34-3) will take on No. 3 Connecticut for the fourth time this season when the two schools square off in a national semifinal game at the NCAA Women's Final Four at 4:30 p.m. MT (6:30 p.m. ET) Sunday from the Pepsi Center in Denver.The second national semifinal clash between the Fighting Irish and Huskies in as many years will be televised live to a national cable audience on ESPN, with additional coverage on ESPN3/WatchESPN, and the live Notre Dame Radio Network broadcast can be heard free of charge on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com) with veteran broadcaster Bob Nagle on the call.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women's basketball Twitter pages (@ndwbbsid or @notredamewbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.