Aug. 14, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame senior guard Charel Allen (Monessen, Pa./Monessen) is one of 25 players who have been named to the 2007-08 State Farm Wade Trophy Preseason List, as announced Tuesday by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). This year marks Allen's first appearance on the preseason candidate list for the State Farm Wade Trophy, which goes to the nation's top collegiate women's basketball player, and it's also the fourth time in five years that an Irish women's basketball player has been placed under consideration for the award.
Prior to the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, All-America forward Jacqueline Batteast appeared on the preseason "Wade Watch" before earning a berth on the elite 10-player State Farm Coaches' All-America Team in '04-05. Megan Duffy then garnered preseason Wade Trophy candidate status in 2005-06, going on to collect All-America honors (she currently is completing her second pro season with the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx).
Allen turned in her finest season at Notre Dame in 2006-07, doubling her scoring output from the previous year up to a team-high 17.0 points per game (seventh in the BIG EAST Conference), while also collecting a team-best 6.2 rebounds per contest. During league play, Allen was especially sharp, ranking second in the loop in scoring (19.3 ppg.). She ended up scoring in double figures 29 times in 32 games (including each of her final 12 outings), and she topped the 20-point mark 11 times, including a career-high 31 points (on 14-of-19 shooting) against St. John's.
Not surprisingly, awards were plentiful for Allen in '06-07. She was a State Farm Coaches' honorable mention All-America selection, the 13th Notre Dame player in the past 12 years to garner that distinction. She also was a first-team all-BIG EAST honoree, a two-time BIG EAST Player of the Week choice and a four-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll pick, helping lead the Irish to a 20-12 record and a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where Notre Dame pushed top-seeded North Carolina to the limit before falling, 60-51.
What's more, the 5-foot-11 wing reached two milestones last year. From Feb. 11-17, she scored 25-or-more points in three consecutive victories over DePaul (25 points), Villanova (25) and Providence (26), becoming the first Notre Dame player since Katryna Gaither in 1997 to pull off that feat. In addition, when she connected on a jumper in the lane during the second half of the regular-season finale at DePaul on Feb. 26, Allen became the 23rd 1,000-point scorer in the program's history. She will enter her senior year with 1,053 career points, currently placing her 21st on the Irish all-time scoring list.
Allen's accomplishments didn't end with the final horn in 2006-07. She recently was one of 14 finalists for the 2007 USA Basketball U21 World Championship Team that rolled to an 8-0 record and the gold medal during the July competition in Moscow, Russia.
Allen is one of eight BIG EAST players who are on the 2007-08 State Farm Wade Trophy preseason candidate list. The others include: Matee Ajavon, Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn (Rutgers), Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery (Connecticut), Angel McCoughtry (Louisville) and Marcedes Walker (Pittsburgh). No other conference in the country can match the BIG EAST's representation on this year's "Wade Watch", with the Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences the closest challengers at five candidates apiece. The Pac-10 had three selections, the Big Ten placed two on the list and the Big 12 and Sun Belt had one candidate each.
A national awards committee consisting of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball administrators compiled the State Farm Wade Trophy preseason list, tapping student-athletes who are members of an NCAA Division I institution and are selected based on the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability. The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 30th year and named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball. This most prestigious award, regarded as the "Heisman of Women's Basketball", is organized by the WBCA, in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).
Last year's State Farm Wade Trophy recipient was Candace Parker (Tennessee). The 2008 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced during the WBCA National Convention held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four in Tampa, Fla., April 5-8, 2008.
2007-08 State Farm Wade Trophy Preseason Candidate List