Tide's Dudley Candidate for Senior Player of the Year


Monday, November 18, 2002

Erwin Dudley

(Kansas City, MO) – As the 2002-03 college basketball season gets underway, the list of
candidates for the second annual Senior CLASS Award have been selected and were announced today by the award’s organizing committee.

The award is presented annually to the nation’s senior player-of-the-year for NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball.  The inaugural award winners were Juan Dixon of Maryland and Sue Bird of Connecticut. 

The “Players to Watch” on the men’s side include representatives from 15 different conferences, nine of which have multiple players on the list.  The SEC has the most nominations with six players being listed.  There are also four teams with multiple listings: Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Florida.

The list of women’s “Players to Watch” include representatives from 15 conferences, eight of which have multiple players on the list.  The SEC also has the most women’s players, with six nominations.  There are five players on the women’s list that were AP All-Americans last season, including two first-team selections.

The formation of the Senior CLASS Award - an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School - was announced during last season’s college basketball season.  The CLASS Award was developed in response to the recent trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional. 

Selection criteria is based on a number of factors, the most important being that the recipient must have exhausted their four years of eligibility and have fulfilled their commitment to their respective university.  In addition, the recipient must be working toward their degree, be in good academic standing and be of sound moral character.

The performances of the “Players to Watch” for both men and women will be tracked during the season.  From that pool of players, a national committee of sportscasters and sportswriters who cover college basketball on the Division I level will select 10 Finalists. 

The names of these Finalists will appear on the official ballot during the national voting process in March.  The selection of the men's and women's award winner will be based on the cumulative ballots of the national media committee and Division I college basketball coaches.  The winner will be announced during the respective NCAA Final Four events in March.

“The inaugural year of the Senior CLASS Award came together with a storybook ending, as both winners led their team to the national championship,” said Gary Heise, President of Premier Sports Management, the company responsible for the overall administration of the award.  “With Juan Dixon and Sue Bird having already set a high benchmark, we are very impressed with the candidates for year two.  Senior players are dominating the preseason All-American teams and it will be an intriguing race in the balloting for the 2002-03 award winners.”

The 2003 Men’s Senior CLASS Award “Players to Watch”

Player               School
Marcus Bailey        University of Wyoming
Troy Bell            Boston College
Steven Blake         University of Maryland
Brett Blizzard       UNC-Wilmington
Keith Bogans         University of Kentucky
Matt Bonner          University of Florida
Nick Collison        University of Kansas
Brian Cook           University of Illinois
Tom Coverdale        Indiana University
Willie Deane         Purdue University
Henry Domercant      Eastern Illinois University
Erwin Dudley         University of Alabama
Ronald Dupree        Louisiana State University
Ebi Ere              University of Oklahoma
Reece Gaines         University of Louisville
Jason Gardner        University of Arizona
Marcus Hatten        St. John’s University
Kirk Hinrich         University of Kansas
Josh Howard          Wake Forest University
Brandon Hunter       Ohio University
Britton Johnsen      University of Utah
Dahntay Jones        Duke University
Jason Kapono         UCLA
Brandin Knight       University of Pittsburgh
Kyle Korver          Creighton University
Chris Marcus         Western Kentucky University
Brett Nelson         University of Florida
Kirk Penney          University of Wisconsin
Hollis Price         University of Oklahoma
Hector Romero        University of New Orleans
Ron Slay             University of Tennessee
Theron Smith         Ball State University
Darrell Tucker       University of San Francisco
Luke Walton          University of Arizona
Travis Watson        University of Virginia
David West           Xavier University

The 2003 Women’s Senior CLASS Award “Players to Watch”

Player               School
Jordan Adams         University of New Mexico
Chantelle Anderson   Vanderbilt University
Kristine Austgulen   Virginia Commonwealth University
Gunta Basko          Siena University
Tamara Bowie         Ball State University
Syretta Bromfield    Michigan State University
Coretta Brown        University of North Carolina
Courtney Coleman     Ohio State University
Molly Creamer        Bucknell University
Angela Davidson      Northwestern State University
Tamika Dudley        Long Island University
Crissy Floyd         Clemson University
Cheryl Ford          Louisiana Tech University
Caton Hill           University of Oklahoma
Constance Jinks      UNLV
Trish Juhline        Villanova University
Kara Lawson          University of Tennessee
Sonja Mallory        Georgia Tech University
Ashley McElhiney     Vanderbilt University
Loree Payne          University of Washington
Jocelyn Penn         University of South Carolina
Alicia Ratay         University of Notre Dame
Ayisha Smith         Louisiana State University
Kate Smith           University of Nevada-Reno
Brianne Stepherson   Boston College
LaToya Thomas        Mississippi State University
Erin Thorn           Brigham Young University
Shaquala Williams    University of Oregon
Lindsey Wilson       Iowa State University
Katie Wolfe          Oakland University