ATLANTA – Senior Alyssa Thomas of the Maryland women’s basketball team was named one of 12 finalists for the The Wade Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA® Division I women’s basketball player. This is the second straight year Thomas has been named a finalist for the prestigious award.
The candidates were selected by a vote of committee members consisting of leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators. The committee will select the winner of The Wade Trophy from among these 12 finalists who also are named to the 10-member WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team when it is chosen in April. The winner will be announced during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. CT Monday, April 7, in the Omni Nashville Hotel’s Broadway Ballroom. The event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four®.
“The Wade Trophy is one of the most exciting awards to be a part of, because these 12 finalists are the games’ most elite players and are truly exciting to watch,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “This trophy is the equivalent to the Heisman Trophy, which is given out annually in collegiate football. These finalists play immense roles as members of their respective institutions’ women’s basketball programs and one of them will be honored with our sport’s most prestigious award.”
Thomas, a native of Harrisburg, Pa., was named ACC Player of the Year for the third consecutive year by the Blue Ribbon Panel earlier this month. Thomas is just the second player in history to earn the ACC’s top individual honor three times.
She was named an All-American by the WBCA, Associated Press and U.S. Basketball Writers Association in both her sophomore and junior seasons.
Thomas leads the Terrapins (26-6) in scoring with 18.6 point per game and in rebounding with 10.9 rebounds per game and averaged 4.3 assists per game. On Sunday, she scored 13 points to surpass Juan Dixon as Maryland’s all-time leading scorer. She currently has 2,287 career points.
Thomas has an ACC-best 26 double-doubles in 32 games played this year and leads the nation with four triple-doubles. She is one of just three players in NCAA history with six or more triple-doubles in her career and is one triple-double shy of tying the NCAA career and season records.
Fourth-seeded Maryland will take on top-seeded Tennessee (29-5) Sunday at noon at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The Terps-Lady Vols matchup will be shown on ESPN and ESPN3.com.
For the full bracket, log on to http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/basketball-women/d1.
In last year's NCAA Tournament run, the fourth-seeded Terrapins cruised past Quinnipiac, 72-52, in the First Round in College Park, then beat Michigan State, 74-49 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Maryland fell to eventual national champion Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen in Bridgeport, Conn.
This marks Maryland’s 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and 10th in head coach Brenda Frese’s 12 years. She's led Maryland to four Elite Eights, six Sweet Sixteens, a Final Four and the 2006 NCAA Championship. Her all-time record with Maryland in the Tournament is 23-8 (.742).