LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior guard A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-20 list, as announced today by The Los Angeles Athletic Club on the nationally recognized “Women’s Sports Central” podcast. The list is comprised of 20 student-athletes who, based on their performances in November, December and January, are the frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
Mathies, an All-Southeastern Conference preseason first-team selection and contender for SEC Player of the Year, is leading the Wildcats to one of their most successful seasons in school history. Kentucky’s 19-2 start ties its best start in program history through the first 21 games, and the Wildcats are riding a school-record 11-game conference winning streak dating back to last season. The sixth-ranked Cats are the only undefeated team in the SEC this season with an 8-0 record.
Mathies has been a key cog in the Wildcats’ success as she leads the team in almost every statistical category, including scoring (15.6), steals (3.0), 3-point field goals made (35) and 3-point field goal percentage (.385). She is also second on the team in rebounding (5.5) and assists (2.5). She has scored in double digits in 15 of 20 games played this season, including eight games with 20 or more points.
Mathies put on one of the most impressive performances in UK Hoops history on Jan. 12 vs. No. 6/7 Tennessee when she scored a career-high 34 points, grabbed nine boards, one shy of tying a career high, and dished out two assists, blocked two shots and grabbed two steals. Her 34 points are the most points scored by a UK player since Dec. 20, 1987, when Bebe Croley scored 40 points vs. Morehead State. She became just the fifth player in school history to score 34 points or more in a game.
Overall, Mathies ranks third in the SEC in scoring (15.6), second in steals per game (3.0), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (.385) and eighth in 3-point field goals made per game (1.8). In just 90 career games, she also ranks 15th on UK’s all-time scoring list with 1,237 points and has climbed to No. 9 in both career steals with 223 and free-throws made (283).
Mathies is one of three SEC players on the prestigious Wooden Award midseason list, along with Tennessee’s Shekinna Stricklen and Glory Johnson. Mathies also is on the watch list for the Naismith Trophy.
The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala, will take place Friday, April 6, 2012, and will honor winners, All-Americans and the Legends of Coaching winner Geno Auriemma of Connecticut.
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976 and named after the Hall of Fame player, coach and teacher, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Blake Griffin (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ’11). BYU’s Jimmer Fredette and Moore were the Wooden Award winners in 2011.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Gala.