-University of Tennessee
ATLANTA – Tennessee junior guard Meighan Simmons has been named one of 30 finalists for the 2013 Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year award.
The top 30 candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances during this year’s college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the pack to four finalists. The Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded to one female athlete on April 8, 2013, in New Orleans, La.
Simmons, also a Naismith Top 30 member as a freshman in 2010-11, leads the Lady Vols and the SEC in scoring at 17.8 points per game. The native of Cibolo, Texas, has scored in double figures in 24 of 27 games this season, including nine contests with 20 or more points.
In league games only, the UT standout also leads the SEC, averaging 19.6 points per contest and ranks fifth in field goal percentage (45.7) and fourth in three-point field goal percentage (43.0) through 14 conference games.
Earlier this season, Simmons became the 37th Lady Vol to cross the 1,000-point plateau. She now has 1,378 points through 27 games in 2012-13 and ranks 25th on UT's all-time scoring list.
For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting will open to fans on Monday, March 25. Naismith Trophy presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate.
Tennessee has had three Naismith Player of the Year winners in the past including Candace Parker (2008), Tamika Catchings (2000) and Chamique Holdsclaw (1998, 1999). The Naismith women’s trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the women’s college basketball player of the year.