For the second time in the past month, senior guard/tri-captain Ashley Barlow has been named a midseason candidate for a national player of the year award, this time earning recognition as a mid-year frontrunner for the Naismith Trophy.

Ashley Barlow Named Midseason Candidate For Naismith Trophy

Feb. 25, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame senior guard/tri-captain Ashley Barlow (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) is one of 30 players who have been named midseason candidates for the 2010 Naismith Trophy, it was announced Thursday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Barlow, who also is a midseason prospect for the this year’s John R. Wooden Award, earned her spot on Naismith Trophy candidate list by virtue of her on-court performances to date during the ’09-10 campaign, and she is one of four BIG EAST Conference players to be chosen for this distinction (putting the BIG EAST behind only the Big 12 Conference for the most honorees from one league).

Barlow, a preseason Associated Press honorable mention All-America and all-BIG EAST Conference selection, and a two-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll choice this year, is one of three Notre Dame players this season to earn a place on a national player-of-the-year award watch list. Fifth-year senior guard/tri-captain Lindsay Schrader (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) was a midseason addition to the State Farm Wade Trophy Watch List, while freshman guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) joined Barlow on this year’s preseason Naismith Trophy candidate slate.

One of the most versatile players in the BIG EAST, if not the country, Barlow currently leads Notre Dame in steals (2.48 spg.), ranks second on the team in scoring (11.7 ppg.), three-point percentage (.376) and free throw percentage (.805), and is third in assists (2.44 apg.) and rebounding (5.3 rpg.). She also ranks among the BIG EAST leaders in scoring (24th), steals (3rd), free throw percentage (9th), three-point percentage (9th) and three-pointers per game (14th – 1.6).

For her career, Barlow ranks 12th all-time at Notre Dame with 1,423 points, and stands among the top 10 in school history in eight categories. What’s more, she is one of only two Fighting Irish players ever to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 200 steals in three career (Charel Allen was the other from 2004-08), and she recently became the third Notre Dame player ever to record 60+ steals in all four seasons under the Golden Dome, joining Coquese Washington (1989-93) and current Fighting Irish assistant coach Niele Ivey (1997-2001) in that elite company.

A two-time all-BIG EAST selection, including a second-team honoree in 2008-09, Barlow is in her second season as a team captain for the Fighting Irish. She is finishing up work on her bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of business as a double major in management-entrepreneurship and sociology, having earned recognition on the 2008-09 BIG EAST All-Academic Team for her success in the classroom.

The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is one of the most prestigious national basketball awards and is given annually to the women’s college basketball player of the year. This year, the award will be presented at the NCAA Women’s Final Four, scheduled for April 4 & 6 in San Antonio, Texas.

“The consistent theme among these candidates is that they display hard work, dedication and passion for basketball both on and off the court said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. “They all exhibit the outstanding traits that make them worthy for consideration of the prestigious Naismith Trophy.”

As a presenting sponsor since 2005, AT&T has set the standard in fan participation in determining this year’s winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results — more than any other national college basketball award.

Beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers — and sports fans on other wireless networks — will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice. Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, April 3, 2010. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. Standard messaging rates apply.

“AT&T applauds these student-athletes’ for their performances this season,” said Jamie Kerr, senior manager, AT&T National Sponsorships. “Through our text message voting program, we’re giving college basketball fans – arguably the most enthusiastic sports fans – the opportunity once again to help determine this year’s award recipient.”

Barlow and the No. 7/8 Fighting Irish (24-3, 11-3 BIG EAST) head to South Orange, NJ., on Saturday for a 2 p.m. (ET) conference matchup with Seton Hall at Walsh Gymnasium. Notre Dame then will return home on Monday to take on top-ranked Connecticut in a 7 p.m. (ET) contest that will be televised live from Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center to a national cable audience on ESPN2 as part of its “Big Monday” package.

— ND —