Oct. 31, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame senior All-America guard Charel Allen (Monessen, Pa./Monessen) has been chosen as a preseason candidate for the 2008 John R. Wooden Women's Award, it was announced Wednesday. The award, named for the legendary UCLA men's basketball coach, is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate women's basketball player who also best exemplifies the term "student-athlete." Allen is one of 30 players who have been named preseason candidates to this year's Wooden Women's Award based upon their on-court performance last season as well as their team's success -- the Wooden Award Committee is charged with selecting the preseason watch list.
Allen led Notre Dame in scoring (17.0 ppg.) and rebounding (6.2 rpg.) last season on the way to earning first-team all-BIG EAST Conference and Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) honorable mention All-America status. She scored in double digits 29 times in 32 games, including 11 20-point outings, and helped guide the Irish to a 20-12 record and a berth in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Back in August, Allen was tabbed as a preseason candidate for the WBCA State Farm Wade Trophy, which also goes to the national player of the year.
Notre Dame has had a regular presence on the Wooden Women's Award preseason candidate list, with Allen becoming the fourth Irish selection in the past five years. Megan Duffy was the most recent selection, earning her place on the list prior to the 2005-06 season. Jacqueline Batteast also was a two-time honoree (2003-04 and 2004-05), advancing to the 15-player national ballot during the latter season.
The BIG EAST led all conferences with eight players on this year's Wooden Women's Award preseason candidate list. Other league players to be chosen 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 placed more than five players on the Wooden Women's Award watch list. Tennessee's Candace Parker took home last year's Wooden Women's Award while helping her team win the national championship.
In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release its Midseason Top 20 List, followed in March by the official voting ballot that lists 15 players. In order to be considered for the national ballot, a player must be certified by her school as having met the Award's requirements, which include making progress toward her degree and maintaining a minimum 2.0 grade-point average (GPA). More than 200 voters, comprised of sports media members and women's college basketball experts, will select the five-member Wooden All-America Team, as well as the 2008 Award recipient, who will receive the honor at a weekend celebration April 11-12 in Los Angeles.
Allen and her Notre Dame teammates will tip off the 2007-08 season Thursday with a 7 p.m. (ET) exhibition game against Southern Indiana at the Joyce Center. The game can be seen live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (UND.com) and heard live in the South Bend area on ESPN Radio 1490 AM. Tickets also are still available by calling the Irish Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), going on-line to the "tickets" page at UND.com or stopping by the Joyce Center Gate 10 ticket windows on game night.