The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced the 12 finalists for the 2011 Wade Trophy–the top individual award for women’s college basketball–today, and 3 Stanford players constitute 25% of the nationwide field. Nneka Ogwumike, Kayla Pedersen, and Jeanette Pohlen all made the list. All three were selected to the All-PAC-10 team earlier in the month, and Pohlen was chosen as the PAC-10 Player of the Year.
Brittney Griner of Baylor and UConn’s Maya Moore also made the final list. Moore is looking to win the award for the third consecutive year, a feat never before accomplished. Only Moore, Nancy Lieberman (Old Dominion), and Seimone Augustus (LSU) have won the award in back-to-back years since the creation of the Wade Trophy in 1978, and Moore is the only player to have won as a sophomore.
Stanford players have won the honor twice. Candice Wiggins won the Wade in 2008, and Jennifer Azzi–now the head coach at San Francisco–won in 1990.
No other university had multiple Wade Trophy finalists this year, let alone the three that Stanford produced. That Pohlen, Ogwumike, and Pedersen are all nominated probably detracts from the likelihood that any of them will win: several outstanding players on one team usually cancel each other’s votes out and often appear less enticing to voters than single players carrying a team. Nonetheless, we’ll have to wait until the winner is announced on April 4, and hope that one of the three can bring another accolade back to the Farm.