Aug. 13, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second consecutive year, Notre Dame senior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) is one of 30 players who have been named to the John R. Wooden Women’s Award Preseason All-America Team. Based on a vote of the Wooden Women’s Award National Advisory Board, these 30 players are the early front-runners for the Wooden Women’s Award, which will be presented to the most outstanding female collegiate basketball player at the conclusion of the ’04-05 season. Batteast is considered a prime candidate for numerous national honors this year, having earned fifth-team All-America laurels from Basketball Times and honorable mention All-America accolades from the Associated Press last season. She is coming off the finest campaign of her Notre Dame career, averaging personal bests of 16.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while garnering first-team all-BIG EAST Conference honors, her third consecutive all-league selection. In addition, Batteast was dominating in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, averaging 22.0 points and 11.7 rebounds per game with a .483 field goal percentage and three double-doubles as the Irish advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth time in the past five years. Her performances against Top 25 opponents last season also were sharp, as she registered 16.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks with five double-doubles and three near double-doubles in 11 games. Entering her final season at Notre Dame, Batteast ranks 11th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,315 points and stands in the top 10 on 11 other Irish career statistical categories, including rebounds (7th – 747), blocks (tie-5th – 124), scoring average (4th – 14.6 ppg.) and double-doubles (tie-3rd – 32). She also has been the picture of consistency for the Irish, having started 64 consecutive games and 86 of a possible 90 contests in her three-year tenure (she missed four games with a knee injury late in her freshman season). Batteast is one of four BIG EAST players named to this year’s Wooden Preseason All-America Team, joining Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers, and the Connecticut duo of Ann Strother and Barbara Turner. In mid-January, the Wooden Women’s Award Committee will release its Midseason Top 20 List, followed in March by the official voting ballot which will consist of the top 10-15 players who have proven their success in the classroom (minimum 2.0 grade-point average) as well as on the court. The 2005 awards ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 9, 2005, and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast. The top five male and female finalists will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund in their name to their university’s general scholarship fund. This marks the second year of the Wooden Women’s Award, with Duke’s Alana Beard winning the inaugural honor in 2004. The award initially was created in 1976 to recognize the top male collegiate basketball player in the nation. Past winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84) and Tim Duncan (’97).
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