Bowling Green, Ky. — Western Kentucky University senior forward Crystal Kelly was among 31 players named to the midseason watch list for the Naismith Award presented by AT&T, it was announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Tuesday. That list has been trimmed down from the 50 players that were up for the award at the start of the season.
Kelly — who has broken both the WKU and Sun Belt Conference career scoring records during this season — ranks second in the league and seventh nationally averaging 22.6 points per game. She is also averaging a league-best 10.1 rebounds per game. Kelly has not averaged a double-double since dropping in 19.3 points and pulling down 10.4 rebounds per game as a freshman.
She recently moved past 2,500 points for her career, and also holds WKU’s career rebounding record with 1,114 boards.
The Naismith Trophy is one of the most prestigious national awards presented annually to college basketball’s players of the year. The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its preseason criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2007-08 campaign.
Again this year AT&T will give fans an unprecedented voice in selecting the winner. Fan voting, through the power and ease of text messaging, will account for 25 percent of the selection process. This program sets the standard in college athletics for integrating fans into the voting process and providing them with more input than with any other major collegiate sports award.
Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until April 5. AT&T is opening the voting to other wireless carriers allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. The Men’s Naismith Trophy winner will be announced April 7 at the 2008 NCAA Final Four in Tampa.