Dec. 20, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame junior guard/tri-captain Ashley Barlow (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) is one of 50 players who have been named to the 2009 Naismith Trophy Watch List, it was announced late Friday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, the presenting body for the award that goes to the nation's top women's college basketball player.
Barlow has appeared in seven games, starting six for the Irish this season, averaging a team-high 14.9 points and 3.33 steals per game, along with 4.9 rebounds per night and a .393 three-point percentage. She currently ranks third in the BIG EAST Conference in steals (and 22nd in the NCAA as of Monday), while also placing 18th in the conference in scoring and tying for 12th in three-point percentage. She has scored in double figures in all seven games this season and owns a 12-game double-digit scoring streak dating back to the end of last year. Barlow scored a season-high 19 points in Notre Dame's opening two wins of the season at No. 24/22 LSU and at home vs. Evansville. She also was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 24.
BIG EAST players make up 20 percent of this year's Naismith Trophy watch list, with the other nine conference players including: Tina Charles, Renee Montgomery and Maya Moore of Connecticut, Epiphanny Prince and Kia Vaughn of Rutgers, Marquette's Krystal Ellis, Louisville's Angel McCoughtry, Seton Hall's Noteisha Womack and Pittsburgh's Shavonte Zellous. No conference has more players named to the '09 Naismith Trophy chart than the BIG EAST.
The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2008-09 college basketball season. The watch list does not include incoming freshmen, although those student-athletes will be considered in the first vote in February 2009. The Naismith Trophy will be awarded at the 2009 NCAA Women's Final Four in St. Louis.
"It's a tremendous thrill for us to watch high school winners grow and achieve even greater success on the college level," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "That said, it will take an amazing season for someone to emerge as the Naismith Trophy winner because the talent pool is incredibly deep. We look forward to watching this play out over the next four months."
In February, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its preseason list to the top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March.
No. 13/7 Notre Dame (8-1) returns to the Joyce Center hardwood on Saturday at 2 p.m. (ET) for a matchup with Loyola-Chicago. Tickets for that game, and all remaining Irish women's basketball home contests, as well as the 2009 NCAA Tournament first- and second-round games at the Joyce Center, are available for purchase by contacting the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356; Gate 1 at the Joyce Center from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET weekdays), visiting the tickets page of the official Irish athletics web site (www.UND.com/tickets) or stopping by the Joyce Center Gate 10 ticket windows on game day.