Ann Strother, also a first-team preseason All-Big East choice, enters her junior season just 232 points shy of 1,000 for her career. Strother was named to the All-Final Four Team the last two seasons. She averaged 11.0 ppg last season. Strother is the team's top-returning 3-point shooter after draining 61 last season. She is also a preseason candidate for Wade Trophy and Wooden Award.
Jessica Moore, also listed among Wade Trophy Preseason candidates, was UConn's leader on the boards during its national championship season with a team-best 7.1 rebounds per game. Moore posted a scoring average of 9.5 ppg while shooting a solid .618 from the field. The senior enters her final collegiate campaign following off-season surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her knee suffered during the 2004 NCAA National Championship Game.
The top-50 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its preseason criteria on player performances from last season.
In January, the Board of Selectors will narrow its pre-season 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.
Three previous UConn players have been recognized as the Naismith National Player of the Year a total of four times, including each of the last three season. Diana Taurasi captured the award in 2004 and 2003, while Sue Bird claimed the honor in 2002. Rebecca Lobo (1995) was the first Husky to be named Naismith National Player of the Year.